Pedestrians accounted for 15 percent of the total victims killed in car accidents in both 2014 and 2015, according to Governors' Highway Safety Association. In the years prior, pedestrians accounted for 11 percent of victims or fewer. Unfortunately, pedestrians are not only likely to be killed but can also be left in serious condition when hit by a car.
Just recently, an elderly man in Indianapolis was struck by a vehicle and according to The Indy Channel, he was taken to the hospital for critical care treatment. Drivers need to be aware of the tremendous risk of pedestrian accidents, and should take extra precautions to ensure they never strike a driver.
Driver Says Indianapolis Pedestrian Crash Happened Because He Didn't See the Walker
The recent accident reported on by The Indy Channel occurred at the intersection of 16th Street and Meridian Street. The crash happened at 11:15 PM when thousands of people were leaving downtown Indianapolis following a Fourth of July fireworks show.
The victim suffered "very serious" injuries and was transported to Methodist Hospital to be treated. The car which hit him was a silver Buick and news reports indicate the driver said they "just didn't see him [the victim] out on the street." An investigation was still being conducted by police to determine exactly what had happened leading up to the collision.
Unfortunately, it is common for drivers to report not seeing pedestrians. There are lots of reasons why drivers may not see walkers. Some reasons are the fault of the driver, others the fault of the pedestrian, and others the consequence of bad road design. Both drivers and pedestrians need to do everything they can to make sure a walker never goes unseen. Some of the things drivers should do include:
- Avoiding distraction, drowsy driving, or drunk driving. All of these things make it harder to see pedestrians. Drivers shouldn't even use hands-free devices or voice control, as this can cause a condition called "inattention blindness" which means motorists don't actually see what is right in front of them.
- Scanning the road ahead. Drivers should look at the road out ahead in front of them, watching carefully for pedestrians or other obstacles in their path.
- Taking extra care in areas where there are lots of pedestrians. Drivers should go more slowly and be extra cautious when there are likely to be large crowds of pedestrians, such as groups of people leaving a fireworks display.
- Considering a car with a front collision warning system. There are many vehicles now which are equipped with cameras in the front of the car to tell a driver when the motorist is approaching an obstacle. Some of these systems will hit the brakes for the driver if they are not paying attention.
Pedestrians who are walking at night can help make sure they are seen by wearing reflective clothing and carrying flashlights. Staying on crosswalks and making eye contact with drivers before stepping into the street can also help to save lives.