Pedestrian & Bicyclist Collisions

PEDESTRIAN INJURIES - QUICK FACTS

  • On average in 2014, a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes in traffic crashes.
  • In 2014, pedestrian deaths accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • Nearly one-fifth (18%) of the pedestrians killed in 2014 were struck in crashes that involved hit-and-run drivers.

CYCLIST INJURIES - QUICK FACTS

  • In 2013, cyclists on bicycles and other pedal-propelled cycles were involved in 2 percent of all roadway fatalities.
  • Cyclist fatalities tend to happen in urban areas, where 68% of cyclist fatalities occurred in 2013.

These statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are sobering reminders of how dangerous our roads can be for pedestrians and cyclists. Government agencies whose responsibilities include promoting safety on the roadways are engaged in awareness campaigns to protect cyclists and pedestrians. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation's current initiative is “Safer People, Safer Streets.” The North Carolina Department of Transportation is engaged in the “Watch For Me NC” campaign. The South Carolina Department of Transportation runs the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. All of these initiatives provide valuable safety resources for your reference.

A major cause of pedestrian and cyclist collisions is the failure of the driver to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or crosswalk. All of these collisions, whether at an intersection or elsewhere, are ultimately caused by a driver’s failure to keep a proper lookout at all times. Drivers must always be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists. When we handle a pedestrian or cyclist case, we focus on the conduct of the driver to prove that they were not keeping a proper lookout and violated traffic laws and regulations. This sometimes requires retaining crash reconstruction experts and using complex injury illustrations to demonstrate the timing of the vehicle to help prove the driver was at fault.

WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE?

If the driver that hits a pedestrian or cyclist can be identified, hopefully there is adequate liability insurance to cover what tend to be very serious injuries or even death. Oftentimes, though, the driver flees the scene, has no insurance, or too little insurance to cover the losses. In these situations, if the pedestrian or cyclist has their own automobile insurance, there may be uninsured motorist coverage (no liability insurance) or underinsured motorist coverage (too little liability insurance) available to the pedestrian or cyclist through his or her own insurance policy. When pedestrian or cyclist injuries occur, all potential avenues of recovery must be explored due to the life-changing consequences of these collisions.

Whether you have been struck by a car as a pedestrian or bicyclist, contact one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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