Alexandria, Virginia, is home to around 155,000 people. It has a charming and nationally designated district known as Old Town that residents and tourists flock to year-round. Old Town is popular for its architecture, bars and restaurants, boutiques, museums, proximity to Washington, D.C., waterfront location, and friendly community. The walkability of Old Town enhances the experience, allowing pedestrians to take in the scenery and culture on foot.
But the bustling sidewalks and intersections are a dangerous place. Alexandria pedestrian accidents consistently cause minor to fatal injuries each year. These types of accidents are typically preventable, yet the city remains one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians in Northern Virginia.
At Curcio Law, our Alexandria personal injury lawyers have seen firsthand how pedestrian accidents affect not just the victim but their whole family, both in the short and long term. They cause life-changing injuries, and far too often, pedestrians are killed, leaving behind loved ones who must face a devastating and unexpected loss.
Since many of these tragedies are caused by someone else’s negligence, speaking with an attorney after a pedestrian collision is important. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is often the only way to protect and compensate the victim or surviving family members.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Many pedestrian injuries could have been avoided if a driver had simply been paying attention, such as checking for walkers before making a turn. In other cases, a combination of the driver’s actions and other factors, such as poor infrastructure, lead to pedestrian accidents.
When it comes to driver negligence, the most common causes of pedestrian injuries in Alexandria include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to obey traffic signals or signs
- Driver fatigue
- Illegal passing
The faster a car travels, the greater the risk of a pedestrian suffering a fatal injury. It is more difficult to maintain control and maneuver a car to avoid a pedestrian when excessive speed is also involved. If the worst happens in a pedestrian collision, a wrongful death lawsuit can help compensate for the devastating financial effects.
But there are other causes of pedestrian accidents in Virginia that are not only the driver’s fault. For example, when someone crosses a busy road but doesn’t use a nearby intersection/crosswalk, or construction forces walkers off a sidewalk, there’s a greater risk of being hit by a car. Poor lighting, pedestrian intoxication, weather, and crossing busy roads that don’t have a safe place to cross are other causes of pedestrian accidents.
Virginia Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accident statistics in Virginia show a concerning trend that matches national traffic fatality data, especially in certain areas of the state. Of the 169 pedestrian fatalities in Virginia in 2022, 54 occurred in Northern Virginia. The area also accounted for 36 percent of all pedestrian injuries in the state.
The alarming number of serious pedestrian accidents has been a problem for years. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there were 121 pedestrian deaths in Virginia in 2016, accounting for about 16 percent of all traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, one in three of the pedestrians killed that year had been drinking, and both pedestrians and drivers were at-fault in around half of the fatal crashes.
The DMV noted that most pedestrian deaths happen at night, not at intersections, and in large urban areas, including Northern Virginia.
Alexandria Pedestrian Accidents
Between 2017 and 2021, more than 150 people were killed or severely injured in traffic accidents in Alexandria. With areas like Old Town prone to pedestrian accidents, Alexandria adopted the Vision Zero initiative.
As part of Vision Zero, Alexandria plans to “eliminate fatal and severe injuries” on the city’s streets by 2028. The foundation of the movement is that traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable and that things such as road and intersection design, enforcement, and education can eliminate these types of crashes.
Pedestrian Fatalities in the U.S. Have Increased
According to the National Safety Council, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. have been on the rise since 2010, and recent years have seen significant increases; analyzing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the NSC determined that the number of pedestrians killed in 2021 increased 12.5 percent compared to 2020.
In addition, the Governors Highway Safety Association reported that while traffic deaths involving vehicles decreased significantly between 2007 and 2016, pedestrian deaths have not followed this trend – they did the opposite. The number of pedestrians killed during that timeframe increased by 27 percent. This alarming data has spotlighted the dangers pedestrians face in America and has prompted safety initiatives nationwide in recent years.
We Can Help with Your Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
When a pedestrian accident occurs, there can be minor to catastrophic injuries that, in the worst case, are fatal. Common pedestrian accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, organ damage, and deep cuts and lacerations, and they can affect all areas of life. A victim may be unable to work for months (or ever again), be permanently disabled, suffer chronic health problems, endure painful and frequent treatments to recover, and require future surgeries. Pedestrian accidents can also affect mental and emotional health, relationships, career advancement, and overall enjoyment of life.
At Curcio Law, we understand how devastating a pedestrian accident can be for you and your family. Recovering and moving forward is challenging, and we work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights, fight for justice, and alleviate whatever burden we can.
Our firm has handled many wrongful death claims involving pedestrian accidents in Alexandria and throughout Virginia. Surviving families are left mourning an unexpected loss they’ll never fully recover from, and it can be especially tough when a negligent driver causes the accident. But a wrongful death lawsuit can help ensure your family is fairly compensated for various damages, such as hospital bills, funeral expenses, lost financial support for dependents, and loss of companionship.
Pedestrian accident cases are complex, and we understand how preventable situations like these impact victims and their families. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident or a loved one was killed, the pedestrian accident and wrongful death attorneys at Curcio Law can help. Contact us online or call or text 703-836-3366 for a free pedestrian accident case consultation.
Justin Curcio joined Curcio Law in January 2020. Justin received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015. After passing the Virginia Bar in 2015, Justin was in-house counsel for an insurance defense firm (Allstate/Esurance/Encompass) for over four years before joining Curcio Law. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Contact Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.