Pedestrian injury and death due to accidents involving passenger cars and big rigs rose by nearly 20 percent from 2009 to 2014. Unfortunately, this steady rise of accidents shows no signs of slowing. While it is true that big rigs spend the majority of their time on highways, in more complicated urban environments, truck traffic can prove deadly.
Truck accident logistics
In the clash of pedestrian versus passenger car, a number of factors come into play. Often times, the pedestrian is likely to escape the accident with non-fatal injuries. However, in a matchup with a big rig, the pedestrian rarely walks away. The most notable pedestrian versus large truck collision in 2016 to date was in January, when a pedestrian was struck and killed on I-15 just outside of Jean. While incidents like this are rare, the casualty highlights the real danger that trucks pose to pedestrians. The reality is a commercial truck is significantly larger than a passenger vehicle, takes longer to stop and has a greater potential to harm a human being than the average sedan.
Improving pedestrian awareness
Clearly, Las Vegas truck drivers should do their utmost to be aware of their surroundings at all times. This includes driver awareness basics like checking blind spots, but extends to ensuring the truck they operate is well-maintained and safe to operate.
Making pedestrians aware of their duty as road users is equally important. As the Nevada Zero Fatalities initiative explains, pedestrian responsibilities include:
- Crossing safely: use designated crosswalks, cross with the signal, and accompany young children
- Communicating with drivers: making eye contact or alerting a driver to your presence at an unregulated crosswalk
- Being visible: wearing bright colors; wearing reflective clothing and/or carrying a light after dark
- Avoiding distraction: “distracted walking” can be just as deadly as a trucker using their cell phone
Truck tech may provide pedestrian safety
When Daimler launched the first self-driving semi truck last year, the buzz it created was palpable. The truck made its debut on the Nevada/Arizona border, crossing the Hoover Dam. The most newsworthy facts about the truck’s features had one focus: safety. Las Vegas truck accident attorneys know that driver distraction and other human errors play a tremendous role in pedestrian injuries and deaths each year. As the technology develops, eliminating human error may provide the best boost to pedestrian safety yet.