Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Honolulu, Hawaii

Residents and visitors alike enjoy walking in Honolulu, savoring the tropical climate and the beautiful scenery. But unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are common in the Aloha State. More people died in pedestrian accidents than in vehicle crashes in a recent year.

With no cushion to protect their bodies from direct contact with a vehicle, pavement, or other objects, it’s no surprise that injuries from pedestrian accidents are often severe. The good news is that Hawaii law allows victims to seek financial compensation if they are hurt due to a driver’s recklessness.

The idea of filing a claim for compensation may feel overwhelming if you’re trying to recover from serious injuries. Don’t stress — you’re not alone, and you don’t have to do it by yourself. A Honolulu pedestrian accident lawyer from Recovery Law Center can help.

When you work with our law firm, you’ll get a team committed to listening carefully to your concerns, understanding your needs and goals, and working together to build a legal strategy to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

There’s a time limit to file injury claims in Hawaii, so it’s wise to act fast. Call or contact us today to learn what Recovery Law Center can do for you. The first consultation is free.

Leading Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Working with a lawyer who understands the common causes of pedestrian accidents is important. An attorney can use this knowledge as a starting point when investigating your case to determine what happened and who should be held liable.

The top causes of pedestrian accidents in Honolulu include:

Distracted Driving

Anything that takes a driver’s focus off the road counts as distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately eight people are killed every day due to distracted driving in the United States.

There are several different types of activities that can divert an individual’s attention from driving, including:

  • Manual distractions: A manual distraction is an activity that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel. Common manual distractions include eating or drinking, adjusting vehicle control knobs, assisting passengers, and texting or typing on a mobile phone.
  • Visual distractions: A visual distraction is something that takes your eyes off of the road. Visual distractions can exist inside or outside of a vehicle. Examples include text messages, billboards, or navigation devices.
  • Cognitive distractions: Anything that takes your mind away from safe driving is a cognitive distraction. Daydreaming, talking to passengers, or responding to a text message are all things that can cause your thoughts to wander from the road.

One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. That’s because it involves all three types of distractions at once. Drivers whose eyes, hands, and minds are on texting are far more likely to overlook pedestrians around them.

Poor Visibility

Visibility, or the distance that you can comfortably see given current conditions, can be compromised by several factors. Poor weather such as fog, dust, smoke, or heavy rain can reduce visibility and make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, who are smaller and can easily disappear in blind spots.

Blind curves or hills can also impede visibility. If an intersection is around a tight corner or near a steep incline, it may not be possible to see pedestrians using crosswalks. Drivers need to navigate blind curves and hills with caution.

Driving at night also reduces visibility, especially in areas with poor road design or inadequate lighting. According to the National Safety Council, nearly eight in 10 pedestrian fatalities in a recent year occurred at night or in dark conditions.

Aggressive Driving

One of the most common forms of aggressive driving is speeding. Drivers who speed leave themselves with less time to react in an emergency. Speeding drivers are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries in pedestrian accidents because the force of impact is much greater than a collision that happens at low speeds.

Reckless drivers may also ignore red lights or stop signs, which is especially dangerous for pedestrians. When drivers disregard traffic signals, pedestrians exercising their right of way at intersections can and do get hurt.

Lane weaving and dangerous passing maneuvers are also considered aggressive driving. Drivers who are focused on getting ahead of other vehicles are placing everyone in harm’s way.

Drugs, Alcohol, or Medication

Driving a vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other substances is a serious and dangerous crime. Alcohol can decrease brain function, thinking ability, reasoning, judgment, and coordination. As people drink more, these adverse effects increase and make accidents even more likely.

Certain types of illegal drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, and methamphetamine, can also make drivers uncoordinated, reckless, or even aggressive behind the wheel.

It’s important to remember that prescription medications can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs when it comes to driving. Sleeping pills, allergy medications, opioids, and benzodiazepines can reduce cognitive function and cause drowsiness or dizziness, all of which endangers pedestrians.

Left-turn pedestrian accidents

Because we drive on the right side of the road in America, left turns require drivers to cut across more lanes of traffic than right turns. Executing a safe left turn requires practice, timing, and coordination.

Unfortunately, many left-turn accidents occur because many drivers are primarily looking for oncoming cars when they’re judging whether it’s safe to turn. Negligent drivers may fail to register relatively small and slow-moving pedestrians while making a left turn.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) released a WalkWise Hawaii safety campaign that encourages pedestrians to:

  • Cross the street only at crosswalks. If you are crossing a road with no crosswalk available, cross only at street corners.
  • Remain alert at all times. Check your left, right, and then left again before you cross and continue scanning while crossing the street.
  • Pay attention to traffic signals. Avoid entering crosswalks if traffic lights are counting down the time for other pedestrians who are already in the crosswalk.
  • Walk, never run, while crossing the street.
  • Wear easily visible clothing with bright colors or reflective materials, especially when it’s dark outside.
  • Watch out for vehicles that are backing up. Driveways, garages, or parking lots are particularly hazardous for pedestrians since drivers may have limited visibility.
  • Stay on the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is present, walk along the very edge of the road facing oncoming vehicles.

Driver Safety Tips

Hawaii also created a DriveWise Hawaii campaign that encourages drivers to help reduce pedestrian accidents by:

  • Being prepared to stop any time you approach a crosswalk. There could be pedestrians who are hidden from view by obstacles or other vehicles.
  • Looking out for pedestrians at all times. Younger pedestrians, the elderly, or incapacitated people take longer to move than others on foot.
  • Yielding the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Never proceed until pedestrians have passed safely.
  • Using your headlights and looking out for pedestrians when it’s dark. Dark clothing during dusk, dawn, or nighttime hours can make pedestrians especially hard to see.
  • Checking for pedestrians before backing up. Playful children may be crawling around directly behind the car.
  • Making sure you are OK to drive every time you get behind the wheel. Don’t drive while impaired.

Contact a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer Today

honolulu pedestrian injury lawyerThe Honolulu pedestrian accident attorneys at Recovery Law Center have more than 25 years of experience handling injury claims for clients throughout Oahu. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation with one of our lawyers. Call or fill out our online contact form for a free case review.