In any type of collision, bicyclists and pedestrians tend to suffer the most catastrophic injuries. From head injuries to spinal cord damage to torn ligaments, pedestrians can see their whole lives changed in an instant. Even with constant warnings and safety encouragement, pedestrian collisions still produce serious – even fatal – accidents throughout Toronto each year.
Based on the careful examination of facts and statistics, here are four myths about pedestrian accidents.
- Smartphones are a leading cause of pedestrian injuries. While it is common knowledge that smartphone use can be a distraction to both drivers and pedestrians, it might not be as prevalent as believed. Statistics compiled by the Toronto police suggest that 62 per cent of victims in pedestrian collisions were in a “normal” condition – that is, not distracted.
- Jaywalking is always illegal. Many drivers rely on the common knowledge that pedestrians must cross the street at a marked crosswalk otherwise the pedestrian himself or herself is at fault. This is only partially true. If a road has a marked crossing for pedestrians, it’s illegal to cross at any other portion of the street. However, Toronto police have advised that if a crosswalk is 30 or more metres away, pedestrians could be allowed to cross mid-block. Additionally, Toronto’s Municipal Code specifies that no matter what a pedestrian does, drivers are still obligated to take “all due care to avoid a collision.”
- Pedestrians are usually at fault if they get hurt. Based on methodology and the factors being investigated, different studies tend to uncover different statistics. In a 2015 study, Toronto Public Health analyzed police collision reports and found that in 67 per cent of crashes involving pedestrian injuries and fatalities, pedestrians had the right of way.
- Serious collisions mainly occur during bad driving conditions. Police statistics show that three-quarters of serious pedestrian collisions between 2007 and 2018 happened when the road conditions were dry. Additionally, more than half of the collisions occurred during daylight hours.
No matter the cause, pedestrian collisions can be devastating. From lost wages to medical bills, the victim can quickly face overwhelming debt which can impact the entire family. If you were injured or you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian collision, it is wise to discuss the situation with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide guidance.