Pedestrian Accident Death Rates Soar

by | Jun 26, 2023 | Car Accident, Cyclist Accident, Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury

Pedestrians should feel safe when walking near the road or while crossing the road at intersections. Unfortunately, despite efforts to improve pedestrian safety, pedestrian accident death rates are soaring. A new report shows that current pedestrian death rates are the highest in 40 years.

At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our pedestrian accident attorneys know too well how devastating pedestrian accidents can be. Without the safety of a vehicle, injuries to pedestrians are often severe, or even fatal. In this article, our attorneys review current pedestrian statistics, provide information about accidents, and offer help to those suffering from injuries.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2022, pedestrian accident death rates hit the highest they have been in 40 years. Some key takeaways from a recent GHSA estimate include:

  • There were 7,500 pedestrian accident deaths in 2022.
  • 2022 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1980.
  • Pedestrian accident rates skyrocketed during the Covid pandemic.
  • One major contributor to the increase is more larger vehicles on the road.
  • Another major contributor is speeding.
  • The GHSA says that local governments have cut back on traffic enforcement in recent years.

According to the GHSA, more people driving SUVs and trucks is one contributor to the rise in pedestrian deaths. Larger vehicles are more likely to cause fatal injuries in a collision with a pedestrian.  Coupled with lax traffic enforcement and bad driving behaviors and pedestrians are at a high risk of accidents.

What are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrian accidents can occur due to various factors, and it is important to note that each accident is unique. However, there are some common causes of pedestrian accidents reported more often than others:

  • Distracted Driving: One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is drivers who are distracted while operating their vehicles. This can include activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car technology.
  • Failure to Yield: Drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks, intersections, or when making turns. This can happen due to inattentiveness, impatience, lack of awareness of pedestrian rights, or simple carelessness.
  • Speeding: Driving at high speeds reduces a driver’s ability to react in time to pedestrians and increases the severity of accidents when they occur. Speeding is a common factor in pedestrian accident deaths.
  • Reckless Driving: Drivers who engage in aggressive behaviors such as running red lights, disregarding traffic laws, or engaging in road rage put pedestrians at risk.
  • Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drug impairment significantly impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making them more likely to be involved in accidents with pedestrians.
  • Poor Visibility: Low lighting conditions, inadequate street lighting, bad weather, or obstructed views can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Poor Infrastructure: Insufficient or poorly designed pedestrian infrastructure, such as inadequate sidewalks, lack of crosswalks, or poorly placed signage, can increase the likelihood of accidents.

It is crucial to promote awareness, responsible driving, and pedestrian safety education to help prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of pedestrians.

What Injuries are Common in Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity depending on the circumstances of the accident. Here are some common injuries that pedestrians may sustain in accidents:

Fractures and Broken Bones

Pedestrians often suffer fractures and broken bones in accidents, particularly in the arms, legs, hips, and pelvis. The impact of a vehicle or a fall can cause significant force on the pedestrian’s body.

Head Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when a pedestrian’s head makes contact with the ground, a vehicle, or other objects during an accident. These injuries can range from concussions to more severe brain damage, leading to long-term complications.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The impact of a collision can cause spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have a lasting impact on a pedestrian’s mobility and quality of life.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Pedestrians may experience injuries to their muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can include sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and other soft tissue damage, causing pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.

Internal Injuries

The force of a collision can cause internal injuries to organs such as the liver, spleen, lungs, or kidneys. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and can be life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated.

Cuts, Lacerations and Abrasions

Pedestrians involved in accidents may suffer from cuts, lacerations, and abrasions due to contact with the vehicle, road surface, or other objects. Depending on the severity, these injuries may require stitches or other medical interventions.

Psychological Trauma

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can have significant psychological impacts, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders. These effects can persist long after the physical injuries have healed.

Fatal Injuries

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can result in fatalities. The lack of protection for pedestrians in collisions with vehicles makes them particularly vulnerable, especially in high-speed accidents or those involving large vehicles.

It is imperative to seek immediate medical attention following a pedestrian accident, even if injuries may not be apparent at first. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment can help prevent further complications and improve overall recovery.

What Can Pedestrians Do to Be Safe?

Drivers are responsible for their actions behind the wheel. Unfortunately, none of us can predict what may happen when we step out on a sidewalk or cross a street. There are some things that pedestrians can do, however, to be safe and reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident. Here are some tips for pedestrian safety:

  • Be Seen: Wear bright clothing and reflective materials, especially at night. Use a flashlight if you’re walking in an unlit area.
  • Obey Traffic Laws: Walk on sidewalks or designated crosswalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as you can.
  • Look Both Ways: Even if you have the right-of-way, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure there are no cars coming.
  • Don’t Jaywalk. Crossing the street in the middle of the block is dangerous and unpredictable. Use crosswalks or intersections instead.
  • Be Aware: Pay attention to traffic, especially when you’re approaching intersections or driveways. Be on the lookout for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Avoid Distractions: Don’t text or talk on the phone while you’re walking. These activities can take your attention away from the road and make you more likely to be hit by a car.
  • Be Predictable: Walk in a straight line and make eye contact with drivers. This will help them see you and anticipate your movements.
  • Be Patient: Don’t rush across the street. Wait for a safe opportunity to cross, even if it means waiting a few minutes.

Safety Tips for Children

Here are some additional tips for pedestrian safety that are specific to children:

  • Teach children about pedestrian safety at an early age. Start by teaching them the rules of the road and how to cross the street safely.
  • Accompany children when they’re walking or biking. This is especially important for younger children who may not be as aware of their surroundings.
  • Make sure children wear bright clothing. This will help drivers see them more easily.
  • Encourage children to be aware of their surroundings. Tell them to look both ways before crossing the street and to be on the lookout for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Don’t let children text or talk on the phone while they’re walking or biking. These activities can take their attention away from the road and make them more likely to be hit by a car.

By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and your loved ones safer on, or near, the road.

What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you or someone else has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to take certain steps to ensure your safety, receive medical attention, and protect your legal rights. Here’s what you should do after a pedestrian accident:

  • Prioritize Safety: If you are able to do so, move to a safe location away from traffic to avoid further harm.
  • Call 911: Call the emergency hotline (such as 911) to report the accident and request assistance. Provide them with accurate information about the location and details of the incident.
  • Gather Information: Obtain the contact information, driver’s license number, vehicle registration details, and insurance information of the driver involved in the accident. Also, gather contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
  • Document the Scene: If you are able to do so safely, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, any visible injuries, and any relevant road conditions. This documentation can be valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is important to get a medical evaluation. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical attention can ensure proper treatment and documentation of your injuries.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate details about the accident, but avoid admitting fault or making definitive statements without consulting legal counsel.
  • Consult a Pedestrian Accident Attorney: If you have sustained injuries in an accident, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in pedestrian accidents. They can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you pursue any potential compensation you may be entitled to.

Remember, every pedestrian accident is unique, and the specific actions you should take may vary depending on the circumstances. It is important to prioritize your safety, seek medical attention, and consult with professionals who can provide you with appropriate guidance based on your situation.

Free Pedestrian Accident Consultation

Pedestrian accident deaths are increasing for a number of reasons – many of them preventable. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, Kherkher Garcia wants to help you. Our pedestrian accident attorneys are passionate about helping injured victims get justice. We also believe that victims should be compensated for their injuries and related losses.

If you have questions about pedestrian accidents and the law or your rights, contact us to learn more. Our consultations are completely free of charge, and we will do everything in our power to help you obtain the recovery you need.

To get started, call us at 713-333-1030, or contact us online.

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Steve Kherkher

Steve Kherkher

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Steve Kherkher. Steve has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 30 years. He has won $300 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured.

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