The number of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents have risen sharply in states that have legalized recreational marijuana compared to a decline in states that have not. Although a cause and effect link has not been firmly establish yet, a worrisome correlation is staring to appear.
While population growth and the use of distracting technologies may play a role in the increase in car accidents involving pedestrians, the fact that marijuana legal states are seeing more fatal pedestrian car accidents may signal a problem.
If legal marijuana use is to blame for more pedestrian car accident fatalities, questions arise as to whether it is caused by impaired drivers, impaired pedestrians or a combination of the two. Studies are ongoing.
Whether ready access to marijuana plays a role in increased pedestrian car accidents or not, what we do know is that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common factor in driver negligence when pedestrian accidents occur. Other factors include:
- distracted driving
- speeding or disobeying traffic signs or signals
- not seeing pedestrians in crosswalks – failure to yield accidents
- failure to use signals when turning
- not adjusting for conditions such as weather or construction
Hitting a pedestrian can cause serious injuries and fatalities of course. Even cars travelling at moderate speeds can severely disable or kill a pedestrian. The best way to avoid pedestrian accidents is to remember that pedestrians, and bicyclists for that matter, are extremely vulnerable compared to those driving in motor vehicles. Avoiding the common factors associated with pedestrian car accidents and giving pedestrians wide berth can reduce your chances of getting into an accident.
Iowa Pedestrian Car Accident Lawyers
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Source: Governors Highway Safety Association “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2017 Preliminary Data“