In Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia, a pedestrian is more likely than any other road user to die or be seriously injured in a traffic accident. The ICBC says that about 58 pedestrians die and 2,400 are injured in traffic accidents each year.
A 2011 Road Safety Study by Transport Canada found that among fatal pedestrian accidents:
- 75 percent occurred on urban roads.
- 63 percent of those at intersections involved pedestrians age 65 or older.
- 60 percent involved pedestrians who were trying to cross the road.
- 60 percent took place at night or during dim light conditions when drivers failed to see the pedestrians.
- 40 percent involved pedestrians who had been drinking.
- 35 percent involved pedestrians age 65 or older.
- 33 percent involved drivers who had committed a traffic infraction prior to the crash.
- 33 percent involved pedestrians who were at-fault for the crash.
- 6 percent involved pedestrians under the age of 16. Of these, 20 percent were children who ran out into the street. In fact, the BC RCMP says children ages 5-9 are more likely to die as pedestrians than as passengers in a vehicle.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to being injured by aggressive drivers. Aggressive driving is a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle crashes and two thirds of traffic fatalities, the BC RCMP says. A motorist who is driving aggressively may be unable to stop or otherwise maneuver in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Aggressive driving includes:
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Making unsafe lane changes, or weaving in and out of traffic
- Rolling through stop signs
- Failing to stop for yellow or red light
- Blocking intersections
- Failing to yield right-of-way
Speeding is a particular problem. A pedestrian hit at 30km/h has a 90 percent chance of surviving, but a pedestrian hit at 50km/h has an 80 percent chance of being killed, the BC Ministry of Justice says.
Other types of reckless or negligent driving that can lead to a Vancouver pedestrian accident include:
- Drunk Driving. About 20 percent of serious injuries and about 30 percent of deaths in collisions involve a driver who has been drinking. Drugs other than alcohol are found in about 33 percent of fatally injured drivers who are tested, according to Transport Canada.
- Distracted driving. A driver who is distracted has less awareness of the road ahead and less time for the decision-making and performance required to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Distracted driving is defined as a diversion of attention from the task of driving caused by the driver’s focus on a non-driving object, activity, event or person. Cell phones and texting while driving are significant contributors to distracted driving.
- Fatigued or drowsy driving. About 60 percent of Canadian drivers in a survey told researchers they occasionally drove while fatigued and 15 percent said they had fallen asleep behind the wheel during the previous 12 months. Driver fatigue is a factor in about 20 percent of fatal collisions in Canada.
When a driver engages in negligent or reckless behaviour and causes a pedestrian accident, the driver and ICBC can be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries and associated expenses. Our dedicated legal team at Klein Lawyers helps such pedestrian accident victims and their families every day.
Contact the British Columbia Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Klein Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Vancouver, the Klein Lawyers law firm can help you file a claim for compensation for your losses. Our lawyers have the experience, skill, tools and resources, including expert consultants, required to pursue a solid claim on your behalf.
Contact the Klein Lawyers office today by phoning 778-654-7060 or completing our online form. We’ll provide a free assessment of your case and, if we can move forward, we stand by our No-Fee Guarantee: If we don’t win, you pay no fee.