According to the CDC, 5,977 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017. That equates to about one death every 88 minutes. That same year, around 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal crash-related injuries. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a car crash than vehicle occupants are. If you are ever part of, or witness an accident involving a pedestrian, it is good to be knowledgable on how to quickly react.

How-to Navigate an Accident Involving a Pedestrian: Reacting After Accidents

Risk Factors

Most times, an accident involving a pedestrian also involves alcohol. In fact, this is the case for 47% of pedestrian-involved crashes according to the CDC. These types of accidents also increase as the speed increases. Also, as speed goes up, so does the risk for more severe injuries for both the driver and the walker. Most of these accidents happen in urban areas, outside of pedestrian crosswalk areas or intersection-areas. The risk goes up in the dark too.

It is possible for a driver to be distracted or not be paying attention to the road. This can lead to an accident. Phone calls, texting while driving, or eating while driving can all be distractions. Drivers can be reckless and not obeying speed or traffic laws. They may also not be driving correctly for the weather conditions. On the other hand, pedestrians may not pay attention to traffic signal or cross the street in areas they should not be crossing in. Sometimes, a pedestrian could even dart in front of a vehicle. This could cause the vehicle to hit them.


If you are in or witness an accident that is involving a pedestrian, you will need to react quickly. First, call 911 to get medical help on the scene. If the injured person is in an area that is dangerous for them to be in, move them to safety. Otherwise, leave them where they are so you do not risk injuring them more. If you are able to, gather all information of all parties involved, including license plate and and vehicle information. Gather names and phone numbers of any witnesses.