Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in Seattle?

With a population of nearly 750,000, the city of Seattle in Washington is bustling with pedestrians. Thousands of people who live in Seattle commute to and from work on foot, navigating the city’s traffic-heavy streets daily. Others may simply walk to a coffee shop, grocery store, or restaurant or stroll around the neighborhood. Since Seattle is an urban city, pedestrians have to share space with motor vehicles such as passenger cars, buses, and motorcycles.

Unfortunately, the busy streets of Seattle pose a danger to pedestrians, with many getting hit by motor vehicles every year. However, not all streets in Seattle are equally dangerous to pedestrians, as there are specific locations where pedestrians are more likely to become accident victims.

Read on to discover some hotspots for these incidents in Seattle. After a collision and injuries, consult a Seattle pedestrian accident attorney right away.

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Seattle, Washington, and Pedestrian Safety

Statistically speaking, the vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, with one study showing that 84 percent of all pedestrian traffic deaths in the United States occur in urban settings. With Seattle being an urban city, pedestrian accidents are not an uncommon occurrence in Washington’s most populated city. This is despite the fact that a Smart Growth America study named Seattle the 8th safest metro area for pedestrians in the U.S. based on the number of pedestrian deaths.

According to a Seattle Times analysis of pedestrian accident data, about 4,500 pedestrians were hit by motor vehicles in Seattle over a 10-year period. While pedestrians may become victims of accidents all over Seattle, the city’s most trafficked streets, like Pike Street, account for a large number of such incidents every year.

Locations Where Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Seattle

Below is a list of locations in Seattle, WA, where most pedestrian accidents occur, and more people are likely to suffer injuries or die after being hit by a car:

  1. Fifth Avenue – Spring Street. The intersection is right next to Seattle Public Library. It is near hotels such as Crowne Plaza Seattle-Downtown, Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle, Executive Hotel Pacific, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, and W Seattle.
  2. Fifth Avenue – Pike Street. The intersection is next to the Monorail Expresso coffee shop near the Hilton Motif Seattle Hotel and Westlake Park.
  3. Third Avenue – Pike Street. The intersection is next to the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant near McDonald’s, Melbourne Tower office space, Century Square Plaza, and the Ross Dress for Less clothing store.
  4. Broadway East – East Olive Way. The intersection is right next to the Capitol Hill Station tram stop and is near the U.S. Bank Branch, the Dick’s Drive-In restaurant, the Blade & Timber Axe Throwing bar, and the M2M Mart grocery store.
  5. 12th Avenue – East Madison Street. The intersection is next to the Seattle Academy High School, near the Tavern Law bar, Katsu Burger hamburger restaurant, and Pony bar.
  6. Boren Avenue – Pike Street. The intersection is next to the Plymouth Pillars Park and Pike grocery store, near the Rumba cocktail bar, Starbucks coffee shop, and the Salvation Army food bank.
  7. Roosevelt Way Northeast – Northeast 45th Street. The intersection is next to the Donut Factory donut shop and Chevron gas station near the AMC Seattle 10 movie theater.
  8. University Way Northeast – Northeast 50th Street. The intersection is next to the Six Pack Foods Company and Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen restaurants near the Jack in the Box fast food restaurant.
  9. Denny Way – Stewart Street. The intersection is next to the 24 Hour Fitness gym near Aladdin Hookah Lounge, Play It Again Sports & Ski sporting goods store, and YouthCare’s Orion Center.
  10. Fifth Avenue South – South Jackson Street. The intersection is next to the Union Station and the LNI business center. It is near the Chengdu Memory restaurant, Bank of America, and the Chung Chun Rice Dog restaurant.

While these 10 locations are some of the hotspots for pedestrian accidents in Seattle, a pedestrian may get hit anywhere else in the city, so it is important for pedestrians and drivers to remain vigilant and alert everywhere they go.

Common Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents in Seattle

Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in SeattleVictims of pedestrian accidents may face a wide range of injuries, which vary in severity from minor bruises to life-changing conditions like paralysis and head trauma. Below are the common types of injuries that are likely to result from a pedestrian accident:

  • Broken bones and fractures. A direct collision or fall can result in broken bones and fractures, often seen in the legs, arms, ribs, or hips. Pedestrians may experience fractures ranging from simple, which require minimal medical intervention, to compound fractures, which can be life-altering and might require surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.
  • Spinal cord injuries with paralysis. An injury to the spinal cord can result from a forceful impact or abrupt jolt during an accident. Depending on the severity, it may lead to partial or complete paralysis, significantly altering the victim’s way of life and necessitating long-term medical care.
  • Back injuries. Back injuries in pedestrian accidents can include sprains, strains, disc injuries, and fractured vertebrae. The threshold for these injuries varies, and they can range from causing temporary discomfort to chronic pain with a need for ongoing treatment.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head hitting the ground or objects can cause mild concussions to severe brain damage. TBIs can affect cognitive function, physical abilities, and emotional well-being, sometimes leading to permanent disabilities.
  • Crush injuries. Crush injuries occur when a body part is trapped between two forces or objects – in the case of pedestrian incidents, often between the vehicle and the ground. These can lead to complications such as compartment syndrome, which requires urgent medical attention.
  • Soft tissue injuries. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle is prone to suffering strains, sprains, or tears from falls or sudden twists. While these may seem less severe, they can cause significant pain and mobility issues and often require physical therapy.
  • Injured extremities. A pedestrian’s arms and legs are vulnerable to cuts, bruises, or more severe harm, like amputations from collisions with vehicles.
  • Internal organ damage. The force of being hit by a car can cause internal bleeding and organ damage in pedestrians. These injuries are particularly dangerous as they may not be immediately apparent and require prompt medical evaluation.
  • Road rash. Pedestrians may experience severe abrasions, known as road rash, after being knocked down when skin comes into rough contact with the road surface. These injuries risk infection and may leave permanent scars.
  • Emotional and psychological injuries. The traumatic experience itself can lead to emotional and psychological distress, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately and can worsen without prompt treatment. This can adversely affect your ability to recover and is likely to hurt your compensation claim. Once you seek medical attention, your next step should be to contact a Seattle pedestrian accident lawyer.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian accident can happen anywhere, to anyone, and at any time. However, certain factors can make a road accident involving pedestrians more likely. Some of them include:vehicles travel at higher speeds

  • Wider roads and multiple lanes. More lanes mean pedestrians need to spend more time crossing the street, increasing their exposure to potential harm.
  • Busy roads. High-traffic areas have more vehicles, leading to an elevated risk of pedestrian accidents.
  • Streets with high foot traffic. Areas with heavy pedestrian use, including shopping districts and school zones, can be hotspots for accidents, especially when not adequately designed.
  • Missing sidewalks. The absence of sidewalks forces pedestrians to walk close to or on the roadway, making them more vulnerable to being hit.
  • Inadequate crosswalks. Without designated crossing spots, pedestrians may attempt to cross at more dangerous locations.
  • Poor lighting. Dark conditions decrease visibility, making it harder for drivers to see pedestrians and for pedestrians to judge vehicle distance and speed.
  • Higher speed limits. Areas where vehicles travel at higher speeds increase the likelihood of pedestrian accidents and the severity of any injuries incurred.
  • Day of the week. Accidents are more common on certain days, such as weekends, when there’s more leisure activity and potentially more impaired driving.
  • Driver distraction. Distracted driving, including mobile phone use, can lead to drivers not noticing pedestrians in time to avoid a collision. Government agencies in the United States say that widespread smartphone use among car drivers may be partially responsible for an increase in pedestrian accidents in recent years.
  • Driver impairment. Impaired driving due to alcohol, drugs, or fatigue reduces reaction time and increases the risk of failing to observe pedestrians. Statistically speaking, alcohol impairment was a factor in more than 40 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

The presence of any of these factors greatly increases the risk of an otherwise avoidable pedestrian accident.

How Can Drivers Minimize the Risk of Pedestrian Accidents in Cities Like Seattle?

Be vigilant at crossings and sidewalksCities like Seattle, with its dense neighborhoods and wide roads, present unique challenges for pedestrian safety. Drivers have a particular responsibility to ensure the streets are safe for those on foot. Some of the tips for drivers to minimize the risk of pedestrian accidents in the city include:

  • Be vigilant at crossings and sidewalks. The unexpected can happen in the blink of an eye, especially in urban environments. Whether it’s a child chasing a ball onto the street or a pedestrian jaywalking, drivers must be prepared for sudden movements. Regularly scanning the road for pedestrians and being prepared to stop or slow down is crucial.
  • Respect traffic signals and crosswalks. Traffic signals and crosswalks are specifically designed to regulate the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Drivers must respect these signals at all times to avoid endangering pedestrians.
  • Maintain a safe speed. Speed is a critical factor in both the occurrence and severity of pedestrian accidents. The faster a vehicle is moving, the less time the driver has to react, and the greater the potential harm to a pedestrian.
  • Minimize distractions. Distractions can severely impair a driver’s ability to react to pedestrians. To increase everyone’s safety, it is vital that drivers eliminate as many distractions as possible. This includes not using their cell phone while driving.

Following these basic tips can save someone’s life. When a driver fails to obey traffic laws and hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian can recover compensation from the driver’s insurance. A pedestrian accident attorney can seek the full compensation you deserve.

Pedestrian Accident Victims May Have a Case Against Drivers

Pedestrian accidents can have devastating effects and often leave victims facing long-term recovery and mounting expenses. Fortunately, in many instances, injured pedestrians are entitled to compensation and can pursue a case against a negligent driver who hit them. These cases are not simple, however, and hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer is imperative.

Pedestrian accident victims must establish the following factors to prevail in their case against the driver:

  1. Duty of care. Every driver on the road has a duty to exercise reasonable care. This includes obeying traffic signs, signals, and laws, being alert to pedestrians, and engaging in safe driving practices.
  2. Breach of duty. A breach of duty occurs when the driver fails to observe the care expected of a reasonable person and hits a pedestrian.
  3. Causation. The injured pedestrian must prove a link between the driver’s negligence and the accident in which they were hit.
  4. Damages. The pedestrian must show proof of actual damages suffered as a result of the driver’s negligent conduct (e.g., medical bills, loss of income, and others).

When it comes to establishing negligence in a pedestrian accident, the following factors may be considered:

  • Driver behavior. Was the driver speeding, ignoring traffic signals, or distracted?
  • Traffic laws. Was the driver violating any traffic statutes at the time of the accident?
  • Witness testimony. What do the accounts from bystanders and those involved in the accident reveal about the incident?
Tatiana Boohoff, Attorney for Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Tatiana Boohoff, Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Seattle

Evidence from the accident scene, such as photographs, surveillance footage, and accident reports, is critical in proving negligence. You might need the guidance and assistance of a Seattle personal injury lawyer when pursuing your case against a negligent driver. Your lawyer will help you prove the necessary elements of your claim, evaluate the full extent of your damages, and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

March 6, 2024
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