Spring is just around the corner. And in terms of traffic trends, that means that, as the weather warms up, far more pedestrians will soon be sharing the roads with vehicles. Given that pedestrians are about 1.5 times more likely than people in passenger vehicles to die in a traffic crash any time they hit the road, below are some of the most important facts for any motorist or pedestrian to be aware of.
Understanding these facts about pedestrian accidents can be the key to making safe, smart choices whenever sharing the roads with vehicles and/or other pedestrians.
Pedestrian Accidents in the U.S.: The Facts
- Someone in the U.S. is hurt in a pedestrian accident every 8 minutes – And these pedestrian accidents have fatal outcomes every 2 hours or so. In fact, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA)1 has reported, more than 4,700 people in the U.S. are killed in pedestrian accidents each year. Although deaths from these accidents have slightly declined in recent years, thousands of deadly pedestrian accidents are still occurring in the U.S. year in and year out.
- Children and elderly adults have the highest risk of being hurt (or killed) in pedestrian accidents – About 20 percent of the children (i.e., those younger than 14) killed in fatal traffic crashes each year in the U.S. are killed in a pedestrian accident. Additionally, federal data indicates that, in about 20 percent of all deadly pedestrian accidents and in roughly 10 percent of all non-fatal pedestrian accidents, elderly people (i.e., those who are 65 and older) are the victims. The real takeaway here may be that, in nearly half of all pedestrian accidents, the victims are among the most vulnerable people.
- Alcohol impairment often contributes to pedestrian accidents – Close to half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in the U.S. involve motorists and/or pedestrians with blood alcohol contents (BACs) of at least 0.08 (i.e., the legal limit for intoxication throughout the U.S.). In fact, while about 15 percent of these accidents reportedly involve driver intoxication, nearly 35 percent involve pedestrian impairment.
- About 20 percent of pedestrian accidents involve hit-and-runs – And this seems to reveal that, in many pedestrian accidents, driver negligence is a factor. In fact, as some research has indicated, drivers who flee accident scenes tend to do so out of panic and because they believe that the consequences of staying are far more serious (than risking fleeing and getting caught).
- Pedestrian accidents are preventable – And this may be the most important takeaway for motorists and pedestrians, as it reveals that:
- There are various things that pedestrians and motorists can do to minimize their risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents – While this generally includes being sober and alert when hitting the roads, it also involves complying with traffic laws and being ready for others not to.
- When preventable negligence does contribute to pedestrian accidents, victims will have options for justice and recovery.
Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you or someone you love has been injured in any type of traffic crash – or if you have lost a loved one to any type of fatal traffic accident, contact the Columbia SC personal injury lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
1: All data in this blog is from the NHTSA.