In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the nation, accounting for 16 percent of all accident-related deaths. These fatalities represent an increase of 27 percent over the previous year, and the number of pedestrian fatalities continues to climb.
It’s no surprise that pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic injury and death.
“In California, it was reported by the 2017 Governor’s Highway Safety Association that the state ranked first-place in total pedestrian fatalities and was in the top 10 overall in pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population. That is some dubious honor,” said attorney James Johnson, ESQ, head attorney and founder of the Johnson Attorneys Group.
THREE COMMON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
While these accidents can happen almost anywhere, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified three common denominators associated with the majority of pedestrian accidents. They usually happen:
- In urban settings
- Away from intersections
- At night
Recognition of these common factors is the first step in reversing the rising number of pedestrian accidents.
Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
The average car weighs 2,871 pounds or 1.4 tons, according to a 2017 report by Edmunds. Some cars weigh a lot more. Either way, that can do a lot of damage, but pedestrians can reduce the likelihood of a vehicle encounter by following a few simple guidelines.
- Avoid walking or jogging in vehicle travel lanes
- Walk or jog facing oncoming traffic
- Wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight at night
- Cross streets at intersections and obey traffic signals
- Avoid distractions like cell-phones while walking close to vehicle traffic
THE MOST COMMON INJURIES
Even if it’s not fatal, an accident can have devastating long-term effects.
“Therefore, the first priority should always be avoiding the accident in the first place,”
said Johnson, adding “We recently heard of a woman crossing a known dangerous intersection. She exercised extreme caution, not just relying on a walk sign, but also looking for turning signals. Just when she thought it was safe, a car came speeding down the wrong lane, turned and crashed into her.”
An accident can cause:
- Broken Bones – Impacts frequently cause compound fractures that require extensive therapy and rehabilitation
- Brain Injuries – Blunt force trauma to the head is potentially deadly and can leave a victim with lifelong medical problems
- Spine Injuries – The sudden impact trauma can damage vertebrae and the spinal cord resulting in permanent mobility issues
- Tissue injuries – Vehicle impacts cause lacerations, bleeding, sprains and potentially deadly internal injuries
- Emotional Trauma – Victims of pedestrian accidents may experience severe and ongoing emotional trauma that affects relationships and their ability to function on a daily basis
Recovery from these injuries can last a lifetime, placing strains on families, finances and relationships. It not only results in medical expenses, but there can also be present and loss of income, as well as emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
“Therefore, the first priority should always be avoiding them in the first place,” said Johnson, “If it does happen, you should work on regaining as soon as possible. Know, however, that there can be a statute of limitations, so do not wait to seek legal advice.”