A new study, conducted by the University of Oregon, finds that pedestrians crossing the street at permitted left turns have a high risk of being hit by an oncoming vehicle. According to this study, when drivers have a permitted left-hand turn, they are less likely to observe pedestrians crossing the street – and more likely to cause an accident. Motorists must pay close attention to the traffic signal as well as breaks in approaching traffic, thus less likely to make that extra step to look out for pedestrians. Research shows the heavier the traffic, the less likely the motorist will pay attention to those crossing the street.
It is the law for motorists to yield to pedestrians using marked crosswalk, however, studies suggest crosswalks have very little impact on accidents regarding left hand turns. Roughly 4 to 9 percent of the time, motorists do not look for pedestrians during a left turn. This seems to suggest that walkways create a false sense of security for those who expect drivers to both see them crossing and allow them to have the right-of-way. The risk of an accident is considerably lower in those cases where the driver can only turn left with a green left arrow. In this scenario, researchers found that the motorists were more likely to notice pedestrians – possibly because they do not have to gauge traffic patterns.
Data proves that danger is sufficiently higher for pedestrians in this situation. They are, of course, amongst the most vulnerable on the roads. To avoid a senseless accident, we must take that extra second to look out for those crossing the street. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please call the auto accident attorneys of Rutter Mills. Over the last 50 years, we have handled hundreds of accidents in which pedestrians where hit by automobiles through no fault of their own. Please be careful on the road ways, whether you are on foot of behind the wheel – awareness can be one of our greatest safety tools!