Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in Des Moines?

May 8, 2024 |
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in Des Moines?

Every year, countless pedestrians suffer injuries or die in accidents involving motor vehicles across the nation. These incidents not only have devastating consequences for the victims and their families but also raise significant legal and safety questions.

If a pedestrian accident injured you or your loved one, reach out to a trusted car accident attorney for guidance.

An experienced Des Moines pedestrian accident attorney can review your accident and injuries to determine if you have a viable claim. If so, they can support and benefit you every step of the way as you pursue compensation for your damages.

Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Often Occur in Des Moines?

Urban Areas: Increased Risk for Pedestrian Accidents

A car hits a young girl on a bicycle while she crosses the road.

Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere, but certain areas within Des Moines pose a higher risk due to various factors.

Urban areas, such as downtown Des Moines, tend to have a higher incidence of pedestrian accidents due to heavy traffic, a more significant number of pedestrians, and various distractions. Factors such as busy intersections, lack of crosswalks, and poorly maintained sidewalks can also contribute to these accidents.

Downtown Des Moines is a hub of activity, with its many businesses, restaurants, and attractions drawing in large crowds.

Unfortunately, this density and high foot traffic make it a common hotspot for pedestrian accidents. Busy intersections, distracted drivers, and limited visibility due to tall buildings all contribute to the increased risk.

Areas such as Court Avenue and East Village are particularly prone to pedestrian accidents. These areas attract a large number of pedestrians, including both residents and tourists.

With numerous bars, restaurants, and shops, these areas often experience high foot traffic, increasing the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.

High-Traffic Roads: Common Sites for Pedestrian Accidents

Apart from urban areas, high-traffic roads in Des Moines are also common sites for pedestrian accidents. These roads often have higher speed limits and a heavier flow of motor vehicles, increasing the likelihood of accidents involving pedestrians. 

Some of the high-traffic roads in Des Moines where pedestrian accidents frequently occur include:

  • Fleur Drive: Fleur Drive is a major road that connects downtown Des Moines to the Des Moines International Airport. Its high vehicle volume and the lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure make it a hazardous road for pedestrians.
  • University Avenue: University Avenue is a busy road that runs through Des Moines, connecting various neighborhoods and commercial areas. This road sees significant traffic throughout the day and requires pedestrians to be extra cautious when crossing.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway: This parkway is another high-traffic road in Des Moines, known for its fast-moving vehicles. 
  • Euclid Avenue: Euclid Avenue is a main thoroughfare that stretches through the heart of Des Moines. Its heavy traffic flow and lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure make it a potential danger zone for pedestrians.

School Zones: Special Considerations for Pedestrian Safety

School zones require special attention when discussing pedestrian accidents. With the presence of schools, children are more likely to be walking and crossing the road, making these areas particularly critical for pedestrian safety. Des Moines has several school zones that demand increased attention and caution from motorists.

Motorists must also remain vigilant when driving through school zones and adhere to the designated speed limits. Despite these precautions, accidents can still occur. In such cases, never wait to consult a car accident attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Des Moines is fortunate to have numerous parks and recreational areas for residents and visitors to enjoy. However, these areas can also present risks for pedestrians, particularly when they share spaces with vehicles or in areas without designated walking paths.

Construction Zones

Construction zones can be hazardous for both pedestrians and drivers. Drivers should pay attention in construction zones and adjust their speed and attention accordingly. If they don’t, they can cause an accident.

Residential Areas

While residential areas generally have less traffic than downtown, pedestrian accidents can still occur. Factors such as speeding vehicles, lack of sidewalks, and poor lighting contribute to the higher risk in these areas.

Pedestrian Accidents: The Many Causes and Contributing Factors

Pedestrian accidents can happen due to various factors, including distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, intoxication, and poor road conditions. Here are some of the most common causes and contributing factors of pedestrian accidents:

Distracted Driving

In today's digital age, distracted driving causes thousands of accidents every year. Drivers who text, talk on the phone, or interact with other electronic devices are more likely to cause accidents, including those with pedestrians. It only takes a split second of distraction for a driver's attention to lead to tragic consequences for pedestrians.


Motion-blurred cars speed along a  highway, captured from an aerial perspective.

Speeding not only increases the risk of accidents but also makes it more difficult for drivers to stop in time to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Higher speeds reduce reaction times and the ability to maneuver safely, making it more likely for a pedestrian accident to occur.

Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections. However, many drivers fail to comply with this rule, often leading to pedestrian accidents.

Failure to yield can occur due to drivers not paying attention, misjudging the pedestrian's speed or distance, or deliberately disregarding the pedestrian's right of way.


Drunk driving is a significant risk factor for pedestrian accidents. When alcohol or drugs impair a driver's judgment and coordination, they make errors that can result in serious injury or death for pedestrians.

Poor Road Conditions

Road conditions can also contribute to pedestrian accidents. Factors such as inadequate lighting, lack of sidewalks, poorly marked crosswalks, and unsafe pedestrian infrastructure make it more dangerous for pedestrians to navigate the streets of Des Moines.

Who Is Liable for Pedestrian Accidents?

Liability in pedestrian accidents depends on the circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws. In general, you can hold the following parties liable for pedestrian accidents:

Negligent Drivers

When drivers fail to exercise reasonable care and injure pedestrians, you can hold them liable for the accident. This includes distracted, speeding, or intoxicated drivers.

Local Authorities

If poor road conditions or inadequate infrastructure contribute to a pedestrian accident, you can hold the local authorities responsible for failing to maintain safe conditions for pedestrians. This can involve inadequate lighting, lack of signage, lack of instruction in construction zones, or failure to address known safety concerns.

The best way to determine liability in a pedestrian accident case is to consult an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can assess the specific details of your case and guide you through the legal process.

Types of Pedestrian Accidents

A blue road sign displays a pedestrian symbol, indicating caution for pedestrians ahead.

Pedestrian accidents can occur in various ways in Des Moines, such as:

Crosswalk Accidents

Pedestrians crossing at marked or unmarked crosswalks are particularly vulnerable, and accidents often occur when drivers fail to yield or fail to notice pedestrians in crosswalks. These accidents can result in severe injuries due to the direct impact between the vehicle and the pedestrian.

Intersection Accidents

Intersections are another high-risk area for pedestrian accidents. Drivers may fail to stop at red lights or stop signs, or they may make turns without noticing pedestrians in the crosswalks. Surprised pedestrians in these situations cannot always react quickly enough to avoid being hit.

Back-Over Accidents

Back-over accidents occur when a vehicle backs up and strikes a pedestrian behind it. They commonly occur in parking lots or when drivers are reversing out of driveways. Due to limited visibility, drivers may not see pedestrians in their path, leading to tragic accidents.

Driveway Accidents

In residential areas, accidents can occur when drivers enter or exit their driveways and fail to see pedestrians. These accidents can particularly damage young children, who drivers cannot easily see.

What Does a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Do?

Hiring a pedestrian accident attorney can greatly benefit your case if you or a loved one suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident.

Here are some of the essential tasks that a pedestrian accident attorney can handle on your behalf:

  • Case Evaluation: An experienced attorney will evaluate your case, including the cause of the accident, liability, and the extent of your injuries. They will use this information to determine the strength of your case and advise you on the next steps to take.
  • Gathering Evidence: To build a strong case, an attorney will gather all relevant evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and any available surveillance or dashcam footage. You need this evidence to establish liability and prove the extent of your injuries.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies are known for trying to minimize payouts in pedestrian accident cases. An attorney will handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance companies on your behalf, always advocating for your best interests and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
  • Representing You in Court: If your pedestrian accident lawyer cannot obtain a fair settlement offer through direct negotiations, they can take your case to court. They will represent you and advocate for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
  • Providing Legal Guidance and Support: An attorney will provide valuable guidance and support throughout the entire legal process. They will explain your rights, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that you are well-informed every step of the way.

How to Choose the Best Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Your Case

A wooden dummy portrays a pedestrian accident scene, alongside a judge's gavel, symbolizing legal proceedings.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right pedestrian accident attorney for your case:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney with extensive experience handling pedestrian accident cases. They should have a successful track record of securing favorable outcomes for their clients.
  • Reputation: Research the reputation of the attorney and their law firm. Read reviews, testimonials, and client feedback to get an idea of their level of professionalism and client satisfaction.
  • Communication: Choose an attorney who values open and clear communication. They should be responsive to your queries, update you on the progress of your case, and explain legal concepts in a way you can understand.
  • Resources: A reputable pedestrian accident attorney should have the necessary resources to investigate your case thoroughly. This includes access to accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and others who can provide expert testimony if needed.
  • Personalized Attention: Ensure that the attorney you choose provides personalized attention to your case. Avoid firms that take on a high volume of cases, as they may not give your case the time and attention it deserves.
  • Contingency Fee: Look for an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they successfully recover compensation for you. This fee structure motivates your attorney to work hard on your behalf.

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to pursuing a pedestrian accident claim. Contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries.

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact an Experienced Des Moines Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at Hope Law Firm Today

Anytime you are on foot anywhere in Des Moines, whether on your residential street, at a busy intersection, or in the grocery store parking lot, you might suffer injuries if a driver hits you.

If you are in a pedestrian accident in Des Moines, you need qualified legal representation to handle every step of the legal process and seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact a knowledgeable Des Moines personal injury lawyer at Hope Law Firm at (712) 424-4673 for trusted guidance and advocacy. Call us today for your free consultation and get your claim started.