When pedestrians are involved in accidents, injuries can be catastrophic or fatal. Vehicles are larger and faster than individuals and being hit by a vehicle can cause irreparable damage to a person’s body. Pedestrians are much more likely to be killed in a car crash than an occupant of a vehicle. According to the CDC, it’s as much as 1.5 times more likely.
Overview of Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2016, and there were 5,900 accidents involving pedestrian fatalities. This means a pedestrian was killed about once every two hours or less, and unfortunately, this number is continuing to rise.
A much higher number of pedestrians suffer injuries, as many as one about every seven minutes. Over 125,000 pedestrians were treated for crash-related injuries in emergency rooms in 2015.
Who is Considered a Pedestrian?
Statistics compiled by the NHTSA are based on a definition of a pedestrian as a person on foot. This includes people who are:
It doesn’t include people who are on anything that has wheels such as a skateboard, stroller, roller skates, scooters, wagons or wheelchairs.
These statistics are also based on an accident involving a motor vehicle that is on a public road or highway. Crashes that happened on private property or in parking lots are not included in these numbers.
Is Walking Safe?
When people walk down the road, they usually think that they doing something that is perfectly safe, but it’s very important to be careful and attentive at all times. Be aware that there could be unusual situations when you least expect them.
Pedestrians are expected to do everything they can to try to walk where it is safe, but the truth is there is never a guarantee of safety even when doing everything right. Those who are walking near a road are always vulnerable to motor vehicle operators who may behave in unpredictable ways.
Tips for Pedestrians
There are certain steps pedestrians can take to reduce the risk of being injured. These include the following:
- Walk on the sidewalk or a pathway whenever there is one available.
- Walk on the shoulder facing traffic if there is no sidewalk or pathway available. Pay attention to what is going on around you and avoid being distracted by electronic devices.
- Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or drugs when walking because they may impair your coordination and judgment.
- Wear bright clothing. If lighting is poor, wear reflector tape or carry a flashlight.
- Cross the street at a crosswalk or intersection whenever possible. If this isn’t possible, watch for a break in traffic that allows you plenty of time to cross.
Keep in mind that drivers could be distracted or under the influence of alcohol. Don’t assume they will behave the way you expect them to behave.
Risk Factors for Pedestrian Accidents
Almost half of all accidents that resulted in pedestrian death were related to the use of alcohol or other substances on the part of either the driver or the pedestrian. Other factors that increase the risk of pedestrian injury or death include:
- High vehicle speeds
- Poor visibility
- Distraction on the part of the driver or the pedestrian
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian, it’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Taos Injury Lawyers can give you expert legal advice regarding your accident. Contact us by filling out the form on this page and one of our lawyers will get back to you promptly.Tags: Accident Statistics