Important Facts about Pedestrian Accidents

The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration found that 22 percent of all traffic fatalities around the world involve victims that were pedestrians. They also estimate that more than 270,000 pedestrians die in global road accidents every year. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Department of Transportation reported 4,743 pedestrian deaths in the year 2012. Such incidents are only expected to continue without active efforts to curb pedestrian accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that majority of pedestrian accidents tends to occur in urban areas. As expected, traffic activity is always greater in highly populated cities. This, however, doesn’t mean that rural areas are free of similar accidents. In fact, there are more cases of severe injury and death in rural settings. Because roads are less crowded, vehicles can run at higher speeds and cause greater force at impact.

The IIHS also found that accidents involving pedestrians commonly happen at night time, between 6 p.m. and midnight. The data also suggest that pedestrians are most likely to be struck by vehicles on Friday and Saturday.

While children are often vulnerable to pedestrian accidents, data shows that children younger than 13 only comprise of 3 per 1 million fatality victims. Elderly victims are actually more vulnerable to injuries caused by such accidents. Even when individuals aged 70 and older are involved in less pedestrian incidents, the death rate for elderly pedestrians is at 24 per 1 million victims.

Injuries incurred from pedestrian accidents differ on the strength of the impact and the type of vehicle involved in the collision. According to the IIHS report, larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs could throw the victim forward and leave them vulnerable to get run over. Meanwhile, smaller vehicles like passenger cars could a pedestrian at hit at knee or thigh level and cause them to fall over the car’s hood.

In all these situations, the damage will depend on the strength of the impact. Vehicles running at higher speeds will cause greater impact at collision, leaving pedestrians more vulnerable to serious injuries such as concussions, spinal cord damage, and internal trauma.

Both drivers and pedestrians should always be reminded that even their slightest mistake could lead to catastrophic outcomes. Everyone should keep in mind that there’s no room for negligent behavior while out on the road. Always follow prescribed traffic rules and safety precautions to mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries.


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