Top 10 Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

As more and more people seek out alternative modes of transportation—bicycles, ride-sharing, public transit—traveling by foot is becoming increasingly popular. Not only is being a pedestrian a healthier option than most, it’s likely the most cost-effective.

With over 4,000 deaths and 70,000 injuries in the US each year, it’s a misnomer to believe walking is the safest form of transportation. Pedestrian accidents happen for a number of reasons. By far the most likely reason cited for such accidents are drivers and pedestrians too distracted to pay attention to the road. But there are a number of other causes that can lead to a pedestrian accident.

Below is a list of the top 10 causes of pedestrian accidents:

Distracted Drivers and Pedestrians

Easily the most likely reason why pedestrians are hit by cars. Either a driver is distracted or a pedestrian is crossing the street while not paying attention. And this is one of the most easily preventable reasons. Whenever you cross a street remember what you were taught as a kid: Look both ways before crossing the road.

The Notorious Left-Hand Turn

Left hand turns can be deadly for pedestrians. Inattentive drivers are often looking the opposite way when they turn and can strike a pedestrian without even knowing they are there. You should always remember to glance to your left before making a left-hand turn. You may just save a life.

Cell Phones

Do a Youtube search for cell phone accident and you’ll likely find thousands upon thousands of videos of people walking into doors, tripping over curbs, or even falling into open sewer holes. These videos may be funny to watch, but they point out the dangerous reality of cell phone addiction. Pedestrians should follow the same safety guidelines regarding cell phone usage as drivers do. Just put the phone away while you’re walking. No text is worth your life.


Crosswalks are put into place for a reason. These are protected spaces meant to keep pedestrians safe. It’s always better to just take the few seconds to walk to the corner and use them as they were intended.

Nighttime Darkness

Obviously, it’s more difficult to see at night, so drivers and pedestrians both should be more mindful of their surroundings and exercise caution. Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night also increases the risk of being hit by an inattentive driver.

Bad Weather

Same as above. Weather has a way of reducing vision for both drivers and pedestrians alike. Remain vigilant during inclement weather.


Rubbernecking is defined as looking behind you or to the side while moving forward. Rubbernecking is a bad practice while walking and even worse if you’re behind the wheel of a car. Do not rubberneck. Pay attention to what is in front of you.


This reason is self-explanatory. Alcohol and transportation is always a dangerous combination. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t drink and pedestrian. Call a Lyft.


Drivers who drive over the speed limit cause thousands of pedestrian accidents each year. The faster a vehicle travels the more difficult it is to change direction. Similar to crosswalks, speed limits are put in place to protect drivers and pedestrians. Follow the speed limit. Rushing isn’t worth the risk.

Cars Driving in Reverse

Typically, drivers are taught to look behind them when they back-up. But pedestrians should never assume a driver is paying attention as they back up. Too often drivers will rely on rear-view mirrors to guide them. These mirrors give a partial view at best, so it’s better to remain cautious. And drivers should always turn completely around whenever they drive in reverse. Mirrors are not to be trusted.