It was the middle of the day, and you were wearing a brightly colored shirt. You were waiting at a crosswalk. Unfortunately, for some reason, a person in a vehicle proceeded to crash straight into you.
When they got out of their vehicle to help you or when police arrived, the first thing they claimed was that you stepped out in front of them or that they didn’t see you even though you were clearly visible and complying with all traffic laws.
Unfortunately, it is common for drivers who cause pedestrian accidents to assert that they did not notice the pedestrian before they hit them. How does a driver fail to notice a person clearly in their line of vision while driving a vehicle?
Some drivers presume the road is empty and don’t look
The ability to make a right turn without waiting for a red light to turn green makes some people presumptive and even cocky in their approach to right turns at intersections. They may glance down the street quickly for traffic, but they may not check for pedestrians.
Studies about the behaviors of drivers making right turns show that over half of them don’t actually check for pedestrians before completing the turn. That could mean that if you are at the wrong intersection with the wrong driver coming through it, they could crash right into you without realizing what was about to happen.
The driver might see you but might not understand that you are there
Despite people claiming the opposite, humans are terrible at multitasking. The brain can only process so much information at one time, and driving is an activity that overwhelms the brain with constant information. Your brain has to sort through hundreds of tiny pieces of information as you travel at high speeds to determine what is safety-critical and what you can ignore.
The billboard off to the right poses no threat to you, but the semi approaching the intersection is something you will definitely notice because it could potentially demolish your vehicle. Pedestrians, bicyclists and even motorcycles pose little threat to vehicles, and most people understand that fact. As a result, their brain may not prioritize alerting them to the presence of a pedestrian. Still, drivers can override that faulty risk analysis process by intentionally looking for pedestrians.
If a driver crashes into you or someone you love and claims they didn’t see the danger prior to the crash, you may have grounds to bring an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against that driver.