According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,987 pedestrians died in the U.S. in 2016. Even more people suffer on a day-to-day basis in non-fatal pedestrian accidents. Studies even show that pedestrians are more likely to be killed in car crashes compared to passengers.
Pedestrian accidents happen in both broad daylight and at night. Certain factors, however, contribute to the incidence of night pedestrian accidents. These factors are the reasons why many pedestrian accidents happen once the sun has set. Knowing these factors is essential to be able to determine who is responsible for these pedestrian accidents.
The Likelihood of Pedestrian Accidents at Night
The likelihood of being involved in pedestrian accidents goes up at night. Many things contribute to the statistics. Some of the most notable ones are the following:
- Poor visibility: Low visibility is one of the most common factors that can lead to pedestrian accidents at night. This is particularly true for areas with low lighting.
- Alcohol impairment: People are more inclined to drink at night. Alcohol impairment becomes more common as a result.
- Driving conditions: Factors like heavy rain and strong wind can affect a driver even in broad daylight. Driving at night can make these conditions worse.
- Area: Urban areas see more pedestrian accidents. Intersections have less pedestrian accidents. Road conditions also play a role.
- Pedestrian actions: Some drivers say that pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night are the reason for some accidents. According to drivers, pedestrians also sometimes come out of nowhere.
- Pedestrian age: Children and the elderly also make up much of the pedestrian accident statistic.
Regardless of who is affected and how the accident happened, these incidents have serious consequences on the victim.
The Consequences of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents have many consequences, some of which are the following:
- Injury: Personal injuries is a typical result of pedestrian accidents, especially ones that occur at night. Some common examples include neck injuries, back injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, and paralysis.
- Permanent physical damage: Some incidents can cause permanent physical damage to the victim. Examples include loss of mobility, scarring, and more.
- Mental and emotional trauma: These accidents can cause severe psychological trauma to the victim. Examples of conditions include PTSD, depression, anxiety, and others.
- Financial expenses: Treatment for physical, mental, and emotional injury do not come cheap. All of these need professional attention.
- Death: The worst cases can lead to the death of either the passengers or the pedestrian.
It is crucial to determine who is at fault when assessing pedestrian accidents. Even though Michigan is a no-fault state, determining whose fault the accident was should still be done. In some cases, it should be the responsibility of the one at fault to shoulder expenses.
Who is Responsible?
Determining who is at fault regarding pedestrian accidents at night can prove to be quite tricky. In most cases, it is the fault of the one driving. However, there are also many exceptions. Here are some things to consider when proving who is responsible.
- Check for the driver’s blood-alcohol level
Many auto accidents involve drunk driving. The police will usually test for the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) immediately following the accident. If the BAC exceeds a certain amount, the driver can be charged for driving under the influence.
- Motorist negligence
Pedestrian accidents can also be caused by motorist negligence. In these cases, the fault falls on the driver. Examples include running a red light, overspeeding, not following lanes, and more.
- Road conditions
In some cases, the motorist may be relieved of fault if road conditions are unfavorable for driving. Some of these include the lack of street lighting, very harsh weather conditions, and many more.
- Pedestrian responsibility
In some cases, the pedestrian is really at fault. Many of these cases involve irresponsibility on the part of the pedestrian. Examples include crossing in non-designated areas, negligence, and others.
Dealing with Pedestrian Accidents at Night
The best way of dealing with accidents is to prevent them in the first place. On the part of the drivers, constant vigilance is necessary. Being more careful in areas that are accident-prone indeed helps. On the side of the pedestrians, following all pedestrian safety procedures is a must.
Were you involved in a pedestrian accident at night? Even though Michigan is a no-fault state, victims can still receive compensation for injuries in some cases. If you need legal assistance with your accident, give The Clark Law Office a call. We have professionals experienced in these cases and are always ready to help. Call us at +1 (517) 347-6900.