Pedestrian accidents pose significant dangers and can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. Each year, thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic accidents, highlighting the need for increased awareness and safety measures.
Pedestrians are highly vulnerable in collisions with motor vehicles due to the vast difference in size and weight. And unlike occupants of vehicles, pedestrians lack the protection of seat belts, airbags, and the vehicle’s structure, making them more susceptible to injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured as a pedestrian because of a collision with a motor vehicle, contact an experienced local pedestrian attorney for help. They can assess your injuries and help you fight for the settlement you deserve.
How Many Car Accidents Involve Pedestrians?
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) issued a report showing that 3,434 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways in the first half of 2022. There were 2.37 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) that year, up over 2021 and continuing a troubling trend of elevated rates that began in 2020.
There were 0.87 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population between January and June, 2022 in Washington State. This is compared to a rate of 0.31 per 100,000 population in Idaho on the low end and 1.99 in Florida on the high end.
The report also includes an analysis of 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. This analysis uncovered a shocking safety disparity between pedestrian fatalities versus other fatalities. Pedestrian deaths rose a shocking 77 percent between 2010 and 2021, compared to a 25 percent increase in all other traffic fatalities.
Risk Factors for Pedestrian Accidents
Speed and Impact
The speed at which a vehicle is traveling significantly influences the severity of pedestrian accidents. Higher speeds lead to more severe injuries and a higher likelihood of fatalities. In urban areas, where pedestrians and vehicles often share the road, higher speeds increase the risk of accidents.
Distracted Driving and Walking
Drivers or pedestrians distracted by mobile phones or other things can contribute to both distracted driving and walking. Drivers and pedestrians who are not fully attentive to their surroundings are more likely to miss signals, crosswalks, or traffic lights, increasing the risk of accidents.
Failure to Obey Traffic Laws
Pedestrian accidents often occur when either the driver or the pedestrian fails to follow traffic laws. Drivers may run red lights, fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, or engage in other reckless behaviors. Similarly, pedestrians may jaywalk or ignore traffic signals, putting themselves in harm’s way.
Poor visibility, especially during nighttime or adverse weather conditions, can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Reduced visibility makes it challenging for drivers to see pedestrians, and for pedestrians to gauge the speed and proximity of oncoming vehicles.
Lack of Infrastructure and Safe Crosswalks
Inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, such as poorly designed crosswalks or insufficient signage, can contribute to accidents. Absence of pedestrian-friendly features like sidewalks, pedestrian islands, and well-marked crosswalks increases the risk for pedestrians.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Both drivers and pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are at a higher risk of being involved in accidents. Impaired judgment and coordination increase the likelihood of dangerous situations, making accidents more likely.
Inadequate Education and Awareness
Lack of awareness and education about pedestrian safety among both drivers and pedestrians is a contributing factor. A comprehensive understanding of the rules of the road, the importance of crosswalks, and the dangers of distracted behavior is crucial for preventing accidents.
Populated Urban Areas
Urban areas with heavy traffic and a high volume of pedestrians can be particularly dangerous. The density of people and vehicles increases the likelihood of interactions and potential accidents.
Addressing the dangers of pedestrian accidents requires a multi-faceted approach, including improved infrastructure, public awareness campaigns, and stricter enforcement of traffic laws. By addressing these issues, communities can work toward creating safer environments for pedestrians and reducing the number of injuries and fatalities associated with pedestrian accidents.
Contact a pedestrian injury lawyer today!
An accident lawyer can help you recover a full and fair settlement for the injuries you sustained as a pedestrian in an accident caused by the negligence of another with no up-front costs to you. We know the sneaky strategies used by insurance companies to get injured people to agree to settlements far below what they are worth. Our clients typically end up with a settlement or jury award that is five to ten times larger than they could have negotiated on their own. We have been representing injured people injured in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. Contact the experienced and hard-working pedestrian injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Mount Vernon, WA today for a FREE consultation!