Getting hit by a car while walking in a public place can be very traumatic and can change your life.  You may be facing years of physical and psychological recovery, financial distress due to medical bills and missed work, and an overall feeling of not having control over your daily life.

Being diligent when walking in public can decrease the odds that you will be struck by a moving vehicle.  That said, sometimes accidents happen, despite everything you do to avoid them.  A question we get a lot is, what are the top causes of pedestrian accidents?


There are many causes of pedestrian accidents, but, based on our experience as personal injury lawyers, these are the most common.

  • Distracted Driving – With technology being so prevalent and being able to connect with our friends and family by text and social media, many drivers are communicating while driving their car.  This can be very distracting.  And it is not only the drivers.  Pedestrians who use their cell phones while walking can also place them at risk for getting hit by a car because they are not paying attention to their surroundings.
  • Driving Under the Influence – Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous on the roads.  Those that drive even after a few drinks can lose their ability to focus, frequently speed, and drive recklessly.  If you are crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk, especially at night, it is important to be wary of impaired drivers.
  • Weather Conditions – Bad weather, such as rain, snow, or fog, can be a contributing factor to pedestrian accidents.  People who are driving in bad weather sometimes do not slow down or stop quickly enough to avoid hitting a pedestrian.  Driving in fog reduces visibility, and drivers sometimes cannot see pedestrians even when they are very close.
  • Failure to Signal – Drivers who do not signal while making turns can be very dangerous to pedestrians.  If they do not signal while making a right or left turn, pedestrians cannot anticipate where the driver is going.  They might attempt to cross the street because they think that the car is going to go straight, but it turns, and they are hit.  Pedestrians who are walking in public should be aware of drivers’ actions even though they do not signal before making a turn.


While pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere and at any time, there are factors which make them more likely to happen.  You may be asking, what are the top causes of pedestrian accidents? Causes also can indicate where accidents occur. These places include:

  • Urban Areas – Pedestrian accidents are more common in urban areas because of the number of cars on the road.  Also, urban areas have more pedestrians walking on the sidewalk and crossing the street.  Both of those factors make condensed urban areas more likely to see accidents involving pedestrians.
  • Crosswalks – When looking at places on the street where pedestrian accidents occur, crosswalks tend to be the most dangerous.  Drivers may not use turn signals, which causes pedestrians to mistake the direction of their next move.  Also, distracted drivers may not see people who are walking across the street.  Accidents also occur if a pedestrian crosses the street at a point other than the crosswalk.
  • Dense Areas – Urban areas were already mentioned, but sometimes people congregate when there is an event, such as a fair or open outdoor concert, or even in a parking lot.  While every precaution should be made to make sure pedestrians are protected while enjoying these activities, drivers can hit pedestrians in these types of situations, especially in parking lots with a lot of people walking in different directions.


While no accident is 100% preventable, there are ways you can make it less likely that you will be a victim of a pedestrian accident.  Some of these are:

  • Be Alert – One important way to reduce the odds that you will be struck by a car is to always be alert when you are walking in a crowded area where there is a lot of traffic.  Wearing headphones, texting while walking, or even talking with someone next to you can be distracting.  Reducing the number of distractions while walking can be beneficial in preventing an accident.
  • Always Use Crosswalks – Pedestrians who cross the street at areas other than crosswalks are at a higher risk of being struck by a vehicle.  Drivers who approach crosswalks and lights are usually more observant than when they are driving down an open street, where they don’t anticipate a crossing pedestrian.
  • Walk on the Sidewalks – Walking on the street can increase the chances that you will get hit by a car.  If there are no sidewalks available, walk facing the traffic so you can see the vehicles approaching you and they will be able to see you.
  • Wear Light-Colored Clothing – If you are walking on the streets late at night, make sure that you are wearing light-colored clothing or reflectors that will make you more visible to oncoming vehicles.  Do not wear dark clothing at night, as that will make it more likely that drivers will not be able to see you.


If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, call us today at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702) 507-0201 (Las Vegas) for a free consultation.  Our law firm has been assisting pedestrian accident victims since 1979.  Our personal injury firm, staffed with experienced Washoe County personal injury lawyer, will work diligently on your case and will defend your rights.  Our knowledge of the insurance industry gives us a leg up on your case, as we know how to fight insurance companies that want to settle claims for less.  Our law firm will make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your pedestrian accident claim.

Attorney Patrick Leverty

Attorney Patrick LevertyWith his master’s in insurance law, Patrick routinely helps individuals and businesses who are having issues with their insurance company. He also has extensive experience with personal injury actions, complex tort actions, product liability matters, and class actions. Patrick Leverty is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell (the highest rating) and has been granted membership in the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum. Patrick Leverty has been certified as a Personal Injury Specialist by the State Bar of Nevada. [ Attorney Bio ]