Pittsburgh is a unique and beautiful city. With a vibrant downtown, several prestigious universities, and multiple professional sports venues, it is also a city full of pedestrians. Part of what makes our city so unique is also what makes it so dangerous for residents and visitors on foot. Our location at the intersection of three rivers, nestled in rocky hills, has resulted in steep, twisty streets that are difficult to cross safely. Combine that with the modern problems of distracted driving and late-night partying, and we see about 300 pedestrian-involved collisions, and an average of five deaths each year in the city of Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are all too eager to get accident victims to quickly sign a release and agree to a low-ball settlement offer, leaving many without the means to fully recover from their serious injuries. When you work with the pedestrian accident attorneys at Accident & Injury Law Group, however, you can be confident that your rights to a fair recovery will be protected.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Pittsburgh
Why are so many people hit by cars every year in and around Pittsburgh? Like other urban areas, the reasons boil down to driver error and unsafe streets. Major causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Distracted drivers. Driver distractions have grown exponentially over the last 10 years. We have gone from eating and putting on make-up while driving, to practically running an office behind the steering wheel. Whether using a hands-free device or not, having conversations, sending texts, mapping directions, and scanning for that perfect song all create cognitive distractions that take the driver’s focus off the road—and particularly off the person trying to cross the street. If the driver who hit you was distracted at the time of the crash, you have a strong claim for a maximum settlement.
- Intoxicated drivers. Especially in downtown areas and around stadiums at night, drunk driving is a major problem. Impaired drivers experience slower reaction times, compromised visual perception, drowsiness, and inability to focus, creating a dangerous situation for the many pedestrians in these busy areas. Drunk drivers are more likely to run a red light and to ignore pedestrian crossings. A drunk driver would not only face liability in your accident, but would face criminal charges as well.
- Poorly marked pedestrian crossings. Even when pedestrians have a walk signal, they have to be aware that drivers may not see them entering the crosswalk, especially at night. Antsy drivers waiting for an opening to make a left turn often fail to yield to pedestrians with the right of way to cross the street. Likewise, drivers making a right turn on red are on the lookout for other cars, not pedestrians. Brighter intersections and flashing pedestrian lights can help these areas, but until we see more of them, drivers must be on the lookout.
- Visibility. Poor lighting, dark clothing, twisty roads, and steep hills all contribute to the difficulty in seeing pedestrians on the streets of Pittsburgh, but it is still the responsibility of drivers to be attentive to people walking along the side of the road or preparing to cross the street. Pedestrians can help by wearing light-colored or reflective clothing at night.
Clearly, there are times when pedestrians make poor choices and dart into traffic against a signal or where there is not a crosswalk. Pedestrians can be drunk and distracted as easily as drivers. However, because drivers are held to a higher standard of care, even if you are partially to blame for being hit by a car, you can still recover from the driver who hit you.
Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Will Take Control of Your Claim From Day One
When you call the Accident & Injury Law Group immediately after your accident, we will take it from there. Our pedestrian accident attorneys will make sure you do not sign away your rights when approached by an eager insurance adjuster, and we will fight to get you the settlement you deserve. If we do not win, you do not pay—so do not hesitate to call us for help.