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What makes it so hard to see pedestrians on the roads?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2022 | Personal Injury |

As a pedestrian who has been hurt in an auto accident or someone who knows someone who was harmed in one, you know how serious a collision can be. Pedestrians have little in the way of protection against injuries if they’re hit, yet drivers aren’t always safe around them.

Pedestrian fatalities are higher at night, but they still happen during the day, too. Why? What makes pedestrians so hard to see and so prone to getting hit by cars?

Peripheral vision plays a role in crashes

One thing to keep in mind is that peripheral vision plays a role in many pedestrian collisions. Most pedestrians are entering the roadway from the side of the road. That means that a driver isn’t seeing them directly in front of them.

The pedestrians enter the roadway, and it takes time before the driver picks up on them in their peripheral vision. Then, as they enter the driver’s main line of vision, they become much more apparent.

This is why it’s so important for pedestrians not to step out into traffic unless the drivers have plenty of time to see them up ahead. When a driver doesn’t have enough time to register someone walking across the road, they are much more likely to cause a crash.

Pedestrians are harder to see at night

Pedestrians are difficult to see at night, too. With peripheral vision issues already at play, you also have to consider how the dimmer lighting impacts safety. Night myopia, which is when the eyes focus nearer to the vehicle and blur out objects in the distance, could play a role in nighttime crashes.

Humans generally have worse vision at night, so recognizing pedestrians takes longer. Brighter objects can be scanned more easily by the eye. That’s why reflective coats, lighter colored clothing and flashlights all help pedestrians get recognized sooner.

These are a few factors to consider if you are walking or driving at night. Those who are involved in crashes may have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault party for the pain and suffering they’re going through as a result of a crash.