The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Pennsylvania

A damaged pedestrians ahead sign lying on the sidewalk

Pedestrian accidents occur due to various factors and the results can be devastating. In 2021 alone, 7,388 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S., the highest number since 1981, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our pedestrian accident attorneys in the Lehigh Valley believe that understanding the causes of these crashes can prevent them and help pedestrians avoid injury.

Distracted Driving

Drivers distracted by activities such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or applying makeup are more likely to overlook pedestrians and cause accidents. If you or a loved one was injured by someone you believe was distracted, a Lehigh Valley pedestrian accident lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and determine who was at fault. Evidence such as cell phone records, vehicle data, and eyewitness accounts can help a pedestrian accident lawyer build a solid case for compensation.


When a driver is speeding, they have less time to react to unexpected situations and obstructions in the road. For example, a motorist traveling at an excessive speed toward an intersection may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting someone in the crosswalk.

Left Turns

Unfortunately, pedestrians are often hit by cars that are turning left, even at intersections with traffic lights and crosswalks. Drivers making left-hand turns may be focused on looking for oncoming cars to determine whether it’s okay for them to turn and hit pedestrians who may be crossing the road where they are turning. Footage from traffic cameras at intersections can provide evidence of how a crash occurred and help your pedestrian accident attorney prove who was at fault.

Blind Spots

If a pedestrian is walking in a driver’s blind spot, it can be easy for them to be hit, especially when a driver or a large vehicle like a tractor-trailer is turning right or changing lanes. Because pedestrians have no protection surrounding them, these types of accidents can lead to catastrophic injury or death.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Alcohol and drugs significantly impair a motorist’s reaction time and judgment. If you’ve been hurt or have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, a pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your case and advise you of your options for recovering compensation.

Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving can have effects similar to alcohol, including slower reaction times and impaired judgment. Getting behind the wheel when you’re tired puts pedestrians and other motorists at unnecessary risk.

Poor Visibility

Most pedestrian accidents happen at night or in low-light conditions. Rain, snow, and other weather conditions can also make it hard for drivers and pedestrians to see each other. Always stay alert and walk against the flow of traffic at night so you can see any vehicles that may be coming toward you.

Inexperienced Drivers

New drivers may not be as aware of pedestrians and their surroundings in general. This can make them less likely to watch for and properly react to pedestrians in the road.

Failing to Follow Traffic Laws

Illegal U-turns, running red lights or stop signs, and failing to pay attention to speed limits in school zones can result in serious accidents. Children are more likely to be killed in pedestrian accidents than adults, so always slow down in school zones and keep an eye out for kids when driving in residential areas. If your child has been hurt in a crash, a pedestrian accident lawyer with experience handling cases involving injuries to children can evaluate your case and determine whether you have a viable claim.

Pedestrian Negligence

Looking down at your phone while walking, jaywalking, or darting into the street can put you at serious risk of being hit as a pedestrian. It’s best to pay attention to traffic and pedestrian signals, use crosswalks, and stay aware of your surroundings if you’re wearing headphones. If you need to use your phone, stop in a safe place to do so.

Defective or Poorly Designed Traffic Signals and Intersections

Poorly marked crosswalks, inadequate signage, and malfunctioning traffic signals can all contribute to pedestrian accidents. If someone is hurt or killed in this type of situation, the municipality or agency responsible for maintaining the roads and traffic signals could be found liable in a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit. There are strict processes and deadlines involved when bringing a claim against government entities, so it’s essential to consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer before taking any action.

Contact a Lehigh Valley Pedestrian Accident Attorney

At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, our pedestrian accident lawyers have a track record of success in recovering compensation for those who have been hurt due to no fault of their own.  Our team serves personal injury clients throughout the Lehigh Valley. To schedule your consultation with a pedestrian accident attorney in PA, contact us online or call us at 610-867-2900. We’re proud to serve clients at several convenient locations in eastern Pennsylvania.


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