When it comes to a human body versus a car, the car invariably wins. Every year, almost 5,000 pedestrians die in this country and we hear about them every once in a while, here in the Bay Area.
Here at Mike’s Auto Body, we’re happy to be sharing the results of a study that was conducted several years ago by the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) that identifies several common types of pedestrian-vehicle collisions. By knowing the different types and the various scenarios that they can encounter, we can hopefully learn about how to avoid these tragedies.
So, here are six types of pedestrians and how you can be prepared as a driver if you ever encounter them:
Darting out: This is one of the most common types of pedestrians that are usually in a rush or distracted. When a pedestrian abruptly appears from the side of the roadway and is hit due to inadequate driver reaction time.
Intersection dash: Similar to the darting out, this happens in an intersection. The pedestrian appears suddenly and hurries across an intersection and is struck due to a limited driver reaction time.
Multiple threat and commercial-bus-related: This usually takes place when a car is stopped to enable a pedestrian to pass. In this scenario, the stopped vehicle blocks the view of the intersection for a moment and an oncoming vehicle that plans to pass the stopped vehicle exposes the pedestrian to the collision.
Vehicle turn/merge: This normally happens when drivers can’t see a pedestrian approaching because their attention is focused on either entering a street or merging into traffic. In a busy intersection, there are a number of factors facing both the driver and the pedestrian to focus on, which can then cause them to neglect the real danger in front of them.
Vendor/ice cream truck: This usually takes place in neighborhoods when a younger pedestrian is approaching or leaving a vending vehicle and is hit by an overtaking vehicle.
Backing up: Results when drivers do not look behind when backing out of a driveway or parking spot or in a street.
How to Avoid Pedestrian Collisions
These helpful tips are provided for both drivers and pedestrians because in many scenarios both might be at fault.
Be visible: These collisions and subsequent fatalities can are almost always avoidable, by ensuring that pedestrians are visible, predictable, and always following safe practices.
Take ample time to know your surroundings: Many collisions are caused by negligence on the part of the driver or pedestrian. Always pay special attention to vehicles around you, and follow all of the local traffic laws.
Eliminate distractions: Cell phones, video games, personal devices, headphones or earplugs, eating or anything thing that can potentially take your eyes, ears, or mind off the road is a major distraction to avoid.
Don’t get drunk: The NHTSA study illustrated that nearly half of all traffic crashes in the U.S. resulted in pedestrian casualties involving alcohol consumption. Surprisingly, 35% of that number was caused at least partially by the pedestrian. Alcohol impairs your common sense, physical reflexes and compromises your ability to think.
At Mike’s Auto Body, we fix literally thousands of cars every year after people get into accidents, but the safety of all of our customers, employees, and associates is always a #1 priority and that will never change.
Sources: NHTSA, safercar.gov, and AOL