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Pedestrian Accidents

Indianapolis Sees Record Numbers of Pedestrians Killed in Traffic Accidents

Posted Feb 23, 2023 by Matt Boulton

A short while back, Boulton Law Group published a blog announcing a record number of Indianapolis hit-and-run accidents. (We were hoping this would be the city’s last traffic-related record of this type for a while.)

Now, according to the IndyStar, Indiana’s capitol has laid claim to another grim milestone: Indianapolis saw forty (40) fatal pedestrian accidents in 2022, the highest number in our city’s history.

Needless to say, these most recent statistics have Indy residents, workers, and authorities concerned, especially given the fact that our city’s population continues to grow.

Additionally, our office is continually contacted by Indianapolis victims and families who have been involved in a variety of pedestrian-related incidents.

With attorney Matt Boulton having investigated several of these types of accidents throughout the state, he has arrived at a number of theories as to why Indianapolis is seeing increases in the number pedestrian-related accidents.

Why Is Indianapolis Seeing So Many Pedestrian Accidents?

Based on the pedestrian accident cases Matt has investigated, which include information from Indiana police reports, witness statements, and victim accounts, some of the more common causes include:

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Authorities throughout the U.S. (Indianapolis included) have noted an increase in the number of vehicles that are driving at speeds above the posted limits and too fast for conditions.

Faster speeds create a dual threat for pedestrians:

  1. A speeding driver’s ability to brake, maneuver, and/or defensively react to a pedestrian is greatly decreased, making accidental contact much more likely.
  2. Increased vehicle speeds mean a greater likelihood of a traumatic and/or fatal injury for a pedestrian.

Pedestrians may also have a more difficult time judging the approach of a speeding vehicle when attempting to cross a street, leaving them with less time than needed to safely reach the other side of a roadway.

Distracted Driving

It’s no secret that distracted driving remains one of the most dangerous–and illegal–activities that takes place behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The most obvious contributor to distracted driving are mobile devices, however, there are a number of other distractions that can lead to a pedestrian accident, including:

  • In-dash vehicle screens
  • Food and beverages
  • Pets
  • Passenger activity
  • GPS devices

The wide range of potential distractions combined with an increased number of pedestrians throughout the city simply poses a heightened risk to those on foot.

Lack of Public Transportation

Indianapolis has made a number of attempts to improve the availability of public transportation to local residents, however, when compared to other major cities, it is evident that much work remains to be done.

A fully-realized public transport system would help to negate the amount of foot traffic in areas that are not designed for pedestrians and/or pose increased risks.

And while pedestrian-related accidents occur each month throughout Indianapolis, Indiana is also heading toward its warm weather seasons, meaning more Hoosiers will be out on foot and bikes. With this in mind, Matt has put together a list of safety tips for Indiana’s pedestrians and drivers.

What Can Be Done to Increase Indianapolis Pedestrian Safety?

On a large scale, it will take the efforts of our elected officials and local council people to enact city-wide change designed to help increase pedestrian safety. This includes projects such as Indy Walkways, an initiative designed to make Indianapolis more walkable.

However, there are a number of things Indianapolis pedestrians and drivers can do to help decrease their chances of being involved in an accident.

Pedestrian Tips

  • Always use sidewalks & pedestrian pathways: While sidewalks and pathways can’t guarantee pedestrian safety, their use greatly decreases the likelihood of being struck by a vehicle. If you absolutely must walk in a local, residential area where there is no sidewalk or pathway, stay out of the road and walk in a direction that faces traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles.
  • Put your phone away: Yes, walking distracted can be just as dangerous as driving distracted. In short, pedestrians should ALWAYS be aware of their surroundings.
  • Save headphones and earbuds for the gym: Being able to hear vehicles, horns, warnings, or other audible traffic cues has quite frankly meant the difference between life and death for pedestrians. (There have even been pedestrian accident cases in which individuals were unable to hear the approach of an oncoming train due to headphone/earbud use!)
  • Wear & use your brights: Being highly visible is key to increasing the likelihood of a driver seeing you, especially at night. With this in mind, wear bright, reflective clothing or materials, carry a flashlight, and always stick to a path that is well lit. And remember, a vehicle’s headlights are never a guarantee that a driver will see you.
  • Know the law: Unfortunately, a common misconception leads some to believe that pedestrians always have the right of way. This is NOT true. It’s important that Indianapolis pedestrians act in accordance with the state’s crosswalk laws and other mandates designed to increase their safety.

Driver Tips

  • Watch your speed: In addition to traveling the posted limits, drivers should also gauge their surroundings and adjust accordingly. For example, if downtown is especially crowded with pedestrians due to lunch hours or a special event, then drive at slower speeds.
  • Eyes on the road, always: It’s hammered into us over and over; however, Indiana continues to see pedestrians and others being injured, or worse, due to distracted driving. It only takes a fraction of a second for your vehicle to drift, causing you to jump a sidewalk or strike a person on foot. Please concentrate on the road at all times.
  • Respect crosswalks: Always approach crosswalks cautiously and give ample space to pedestrians who are using and/or near these designated walkways. Your yielding and giving appropriate space and time at crosswalks also helps to ensure other drivers see and do the same.
  • Never assume: Just because you see a pedestrian, it doesn’t mean that they see or hear you. Never assume they won’t step out in front of your vehicle or misjudge the time they have to cross a road.
  • Beware of parking lot dangers: While most people operate their vehicles at a responsible speed in parking lights, you must be especially vigilant when navigating these spaces, especially when backing out of a spot or looking for an empty space. Parking lots can be crowded, unpredictable, and hectic. Always be aware of your vehicle’s blindspots and double-check your surroundings for adults and children.
  • Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking or under the influence of any other intoxicating substance or drug.

At the end of the day, Hoosiers need to work together to help decrease the number of pedestrian accidents throughout the city.

Simply put, drivers and pedestrians need to respect and be watching out for each other.

Questions About an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident?

If you were injured by a vehicle while on foot, you may be entitled to various types of compensation under Indiana’s pedestrian laws. However, before you seek compensation, it’s important to understand how these laws may affect the outcome of your potential case.

An experienced Indiana pedestrian accident attorney can review your incident and offer professional insight based on their handling of prior cases as well as their understanding of current state laws.

Attorney Matt Boulton has 25+ years’ experience investigating personal injury cases throughout the state of Indiana, including high-profile accidents involving pedestrians.

Matt’s reputation among his legal peers and track record of success has led him to be sought after by Hoosier victims and families that require custom legal strategies dedicated to pedestrian accidents as well as a personal approach to client service.

Additionally, Boulton Law Group offers all Indiana accident victims and their loved ones a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that no matter the size or complexity of a pedestrian accident case, there is never a charge for a legal review, and there is never a fee unless a recovery is made on the client’s behalf.

If you’d like to learn more about your legal rights and how Boulton Law Group may be able to help, you can send the details of your pedestrian-related accident to us by using the firm’s confidential, free contact form.

Matt Boulton

Author Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana. He designed his firm for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.

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