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How to vehicles generally strike people in a pedestrian accident?

Despite the recent delugue of rain the state of California has experienced, in general California's mild climates and sunny days mean people take to the streets by foot. Unfortunately, when pedestrians and motor vehicles mix, the possibility for pedestrian accidents exists.

Pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries, in part due to the way a vehicle strikes the pedestrian, in part due to the speed of the vehicle and in part due to the size of the vehicle. Most of the time in a pedestrian accident the pedestrian is hit by the front of the vehicle. If the vehicle is a standard automobile, in general the pedestrian will come into contact with the bumper of the automobile or the front part of the vehicle's hood. If the vehicle is a taller than a standard automobile, for example, an SUV or pickup truck, the pedestrian is struck higher on his or her body. In general, larger motor vehicles will cause more severe injuries and pose a higher risk of fatalities.

If the pedestrian is a child who is struck by an automobile, the automobile's bumper will generally hit the child's thigh and the automobile's hood will hit the child's torso. If the pedestrian is an adult who is struck by an automobile, the automobile's bumper will generally hit the adult's knee and the automobile's hood will hit the adult's thigh.

If the automobile is driving at a relatively low speed, for example, under 10 to 12 miles per hour, these may be the only contact points. However, if the automobile is traveling at a higher speed, it can cause the pedestrian to hit the automobile's windshield with the upper part of their body. If the vehicle is a large vehicle, the pedestrian might be forced down to the ground in front of the vehicle.

As this shows, pedestrian accident injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries or in the worst cases, fatalities. Drivers have the duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, and this includes staying on the lookout for pedestrians who are sharing the roadway. When a negligent driver strikes a pedestrian, and the pedestrian suffers an injury as a result, the pedestrian may want to do what is necessary to hold the motorist accountable, including filing a lawsuit if appropriate.

Source:, "Pedestrians and bicyclists," Accessed Jan. 9, 2017

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