Pedestrian Accidents – Causes and Facts
3 Minute Read from Hamilton’s Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrians are completely vulnerable and therefore suffer a vastly disproportionate amount of severe injuries and wrongful death when an accident involving a motor vehicle occurs. More than 4000 pedestrians in Ontario are injured by a motor vehicle every year. Did you know that in 2017 27 people died after being hit by cars? Number were even worse in 2016 – with 39 people dead by the end of the year.
Hamilton being one of the large cities in Ontario, is the scene of far more pedestrian accidents than most people might realize. In fact – Hamilton is the second most dangerous city for pedestrians in Ontario, according to a 2013 study by CBC. Hamilton pedestrians are about 42% more likely to be injured compared to the Ontario average rate. These are alarming statistics for Hamiltonians who use their own two feet to move around our city.
If you suffered serious injury to a pedestrian accident, contact our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers. We are Hamilton Lawyers with a proven record of success in helping those who suffer from a serious injury. Call us for a free no obligation consultation 24/7 at 905-333-8888 or chat with one of our live operators 24/7 who will assist in setting up an appointment.
Types of Hamilton Pedestrian Accidents
All car, truck, or motorcycle accidents involving a pedestrian are dangerous, but the most commonly seen accidents are:
- Intersection accidents;
- Being hit by a vehicle;
- Vehicles pulling out and passing;
- Pedestrians Darting out in Front of Vehicles;
- Back up accidents;
- Poorly designed roadways, placing walkers, joggers and hikers in harm’s way;
Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
You can be the safest walker in the city and you could still be the victim of an accident. Sadly, accidents happen that are often no fault of your own. While you can take every precaution, you cannot control the behavior of other people. Here are the top causes of motor vehicle accidents involving a Pedestrian, according to Ontario’s Chief Coroner.
- Vehicle speed – both speeding and streets with higher speed limits. Of course, the higher the speed, the more likely it is for the severity of injuries to be greater.
- Driver’s failure to yield when the pedestrian has the right of way. Sadly, not all drivers see pedestrians, or they fail to yield the right of way according to traffic laws.
- Pedestrian distraction such as cell phone use, listening to music or riding a skateboard. As a pedestrian, you have responsibility for your own safety as well. Be aware and ensure you can hear what is going on around you.
- Pedestrian crossing at an unmarked area ie. jaywalking. While it may be convenient to cross at an unmarked area of a street, it is not always safe. Even when you do not think a car is coming, one can come quickly, out of your line of sight.
- Pedestrians failing to cross at appropriate signal. Wait for the signal to prompt you to cross the street.
- Right Turn Accidents – Many pedestrian accidents are caused when a driver is turning right, but looking left for oncoming vehicles.
- Alcohol & drugs – impaired driving or intoxicated pedestrian are both causes of pedestrian injuries and death.
- Quiet cars. Battery-operated cars, hybrid cars and very quiet cars are hard to hear coming. These quiet cars are very hard for pedestrians to hear, especially as the car turns or if it is moving slowly.
According to Stats Canada, the following play major contributing factors in pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents.
- 55% of pedestrian accidents occur in the dark. Visibility is a major contributing factor.
- 30% of pedestrian accidents are due to drivers not following traffic laws.
- 10% involve distracted drivers or pedestrians on cell phones.
- In 30% of pedestrian fatalities either the driver or the pedestrian was drunk or high.
Sad, but true: In Ontario, children and elderly are most commonly the pedestrian victims in a motor vehicle accident.
Without the benefit of a caged surrounding, seatbelts, airbags or roll bars, pedestrians are obviously quite vulnerable than other motorists in the road. Accidents that happen at a low rate of speed can be fatal or cause terrible damage. As a result, pedestrians involved in car accidents in Hamilton can no doubt suffer major multi-system injuries, such as:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Tibial Plateau Fractures
- Major fractures
- Head Injuries
- Face and neck injury
- Hip Fractures and Hip Replacements
- Psychological Injuries
- Fatal Injuries
Understanding Pedestrian Accidents in Ontario
Unlike an accident involving two vehicles where the onus is on the you to prove that the person that hit you was negligent, the onus is reversed when the you are a pedestrian (or
cyclist), unless your accident happened on a private roadway. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act places the onus on the person that hit you. Our Courts have held that evidence of negligence on the part of an injured person does not discharge the reverse onus placed on the defendant driver that hit you – meaning if you were partly at fault for getting hit, negligence still lies on the defendant driver that hit you. In other words, a driver will be found NOT at fault only if he or she can show that there was no negligence or misconduct on his or her part.
Pedestrian Safety – What You Can Do to Be Safe On The Streets
As a pedestrian, there are certain things you can do to be safe while walking and crossing the street.
- Make contact with drivers before you cross the street. This way you’ll know they are aware you are there.
- Be aware of vehicles turning left when you cross an intersection. This is especially important for trucks and buses that have large blind spots. They cannot always see you, so while you might have the right of way, it is best to let them go to be safe.
- Use crosswalks. Jaywalking may seem quicker and more convenient; however, if you choose to cross in an unmarked spot of the road, you are significantly risking your chance of an accident.
- Don’t be distracted. Listening to music, texting, talking on the phone can cause you to be unaware of what is going on around you.
- If you are walking on the shoulder of the road where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Do not dress in black at night. Dark colors make you more difficult to see. Use reflective gear.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Hamilton, serving Province Wide
If you or a loved one was a pedestrian injured by a vehicle our Hamilton personal injury lawyers can help. We understand that pedestrian injuries can range from fractures, dislocations and wounds to more severe injuries including impairments in mobility and sadly, loss of life. In addition, accident victims are prone to experiencing depression. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, please call our Hamilton personal injury lawyers at 905-333-8888 or fill out a contact form or chat with out live operator 24/7 to set up your appointment today. We have years of experience helping pedestrians get the compensation they are entitled to. Call for a complimentary, no obligation consultation. And remember, you don’t pay us for our services until you receive your money.