Pedestrian Traffic Injuries

While not everybody drives or has a driver’s license, one thing’s for sure – we are all pedestrians. Since the United States is a modern and developed country, Americans must coincide with machines (automobiles, semi-trucks, and motorcycles) almost daily.

Given the size and weight of cars, trucks, SUVs and semis, it’s understandable why these machines pose a threat to pedestrian safety, especially to children who are shorter and not easily seen by motorists.

According to 2014 data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities in the United States increased by 15 percent between 2010 and 2012, during a period when motor vehicle deaths actually decreased a bit.

Travelling on foot has significant health benefits over driving for children and adults alike. Because they are too young to drive, children log a lot of miles walking. Adults generally travel on foot for exercise reasons, but almost every day adults automatically become pedestrians while they park their car and walk to their intended destination, and back again.

Pedestrian Safety is at Risk Almost Daily

The problem is that virtually every day, pedestrians are put in situations where they have to share the space with motor vehicles. This happens when pedestrians are walking through parking lots, getting out of their parked cars on busy streets, crossing at intersections, and walking on sidewalks with driveways.

In these situations, pedestrians are being exposed to the possibility of being seriously injured, if not killed. Pedestrians have to be vigilant because not all drivers are paying attention, especially when they’re texting while driving!

In the U.S., roads are primarily designed to accommodate motor vehicles, and not all roads are designed with pedestrian safety in mind. According to the GHSA, some roads even have design features that place pedestrians in danger.

According to one study based on California data, of all road users, pedestrians are the most vulnerable when it comes to injuries, more than double that of bicyclists (Ragland, Grembek, & Felschundneff, 2013).

The GHSA reports that pedestrian injuries are not limited to the U.S., it’s a worldwide problem that leads to nearly 750,000 deaths each year. According to the World Health Organization’s 2013 data, pedestrian deaths make up 22% of all traffic-related deaths around the world.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide:

  • Children in low-income, urban residential neighborhoods are at a significantly higher risk of suffering a pedestrian-related injury.
  • Children are especially at risk of injury when they are struck by a truck, SUV, or van.
  • The chance of being hit by a car or killed on Halloween is more than double for children than any other day of the year.

Were you, or someone you love injured in a pedestrian accident? If so, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC for a free consultation with a Columbia personal injury attorney!

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