We were children when we first learned the basics of safely walking around traffic. Stop at every intersection. Look both ways before crossing a street. Only walk in designated pedestrian areas. While we try to hold fast to these skills as adults, a motorist who makes an error in judgment or driving recklessly puts everyone in danger. The experienced legal team at Beck & Beck Attorneys advises everyone to take extra precautions in certain areas where pedestrian accidents are most prominent.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen Most Often in Missouri?
From St. Louis to Kansas City, Columbia to Kirksville, and all points in between, some locations in the Show-Me State are far more accommodating to foot traffic than others.
But no matter where you are, you have a right to feel safe in your environment. So pay close attention when walking in the following situations.
Urban Areas Without Pedestrian Intersections
When pedestrians cross the street in places where motorists aren’t expecting them, they’re far more likely to be hit. Approximately 75 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in areas outside of designated crossing areas, such as in the middle of a block, behind parked cars, or alleyways.
Intersections Where Motorists Ignore Stop Signs or Traffic Signals
Distracted drivers, people exceeding the posted speed limits, or those under the influence have greatly reduced reaction times. So they often don’t pay attention to indications such as stop signs, traffic signals, or flashing pedestrian crosswalk signals. The Missouri State Police Department of Public Safety indicates a high number of pedestrian injuries and worse, fatalities, happen in these circumstances.
Roadsides and Shoulders
This is another setting where motorists don’t anticipate anyone being on foot, and while they’re still legally obligated to drive carefully and watch for pedestrians, tragedy still occurs.
In parking lots and streetside spaces, drivers are usually more focused on traffic, not pedestrians. People on foot might also be hidden from view by vehicles, poles, walls, and other objects. Pedestrian accidents happen more frequently behind a vehicle, because even with backup cameras, a driver might not spot a person or an individual doesn’t have the speed to move out of the way.
Sidewalk pedestrian accidents are rare, but if a motorist is impaired, distracted, or fatigued, their reaction time is diminished, so they’re unlikely to be able to stop until it’s too late.
Dawn, Dusk, and Nighttime
It’s more difficult for drivers to spot a person on foot in the dark, which is why most fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night and during twilight times. Pedestrians can increase their visibility after dark by:
- Wearing light colors
- Choosing reflective clothing
- Carrying a flashlight
- Wearing a headlamp
- Putting a reflective leash or collar on their pet if out for a walk
Other Ways Pedestrians Can Stay Safe
Generally, when pedestrians are hit by cars, it’s the driver’s fault and there’s nothing the pedestrian could have done differently. However, when you’re on foot, take these precautions:
- Avoid dangerous or unmarked intersections.
- Always proceed carefully through high-risk areas.
- Stay vigilant—no texting and walking or blocking street noises with headphones.
- Obey traffic signals.
- Use designated crosswalks whenever possible.
- Watch for drivers who are:
- Focused on other people in their vehicle or in passing cars.
- Driving too fast to allow them to adjust to changing conditions.
- Swerving or otherwise showing signs of unsafe driving.
- Texting or talking on their phone.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian accident caused by a motorist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation—even if you were injured taking evasive action rather than being struck by the vehicle in question.
- First, call 911 and seek medical attention right away, even if your injuries seem minor.
- If you’re able, gather as much evidence of what happened as you can, including photos of the scene, description and license plate of the car, and other essential facts.
- Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Even if the person who hit you was uninsured or left the scene of the accident, there may be multiple avenues for you to receive compensation. The best way to discover all of these options is to hire an attorney with effective experience in these cases.
How Can a Beck & Beck Missouri Attorney Help?
Not only will our legal team identify who’s responsible for paying for your injuries, but they can also assist you in other ways, such as:
- Explain Missouri’s complicated personal injury laws.
- Connect you to doctors who will treat you even if you don’t have insurance.
- Work with your health providers to keep costs reasonable.
- Negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in court to make sure you receive a fair settlement.
- Help you to get a loan until you receive your settlement so you can get the medical care you need and avoid falling behind on your bills.
Beck & Beck is the only firm in Missouri that specializes in automotive accident cases. We’re familiar with all of the ins and outs of personal injury law in the state and we know how to get results for people in your situation so you’re not at the mercy of an insurance company’s timeline. At Beck & Beck, all cases are handled by our experienced and knowledgeable partners, not a paralegal. We provide experience you can trust.