Top 7 Causes of Pedestrian Injury
Pedestrian injuries are generally more common in heavily populated areas with a lot of foot traffic. However, some communities seem to buck the trend. In 2014, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Tampa Bay area was ranked second-most dangerous place in America for pedestrian deaths.
Pedestrian injury statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,376 pedestrians died in automobile-related crashes. Children and the elderly are most at risk. The same report suggests that as many as “129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015.” Likewise, CDC reports that pedestrians are one and a half times more likely to be killed than motorists.
High risk for pedestrian injuries and death
Children, seniors, and intoxicated individuals are the three largest groups at risk for pedestrian fatalities. The CDC reports that 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths were individuals over the age of 65. However, the most significant risk factor is clearly alcohol. One-third of all pedestrian fatalities involve a pedestrian who is intoxicated.
Drunk drivers also account for a lot of fatalities
In addition to impaired pedestrians, impaired drivers are also responsible for a large share of pedestrian injuries and deaths each year. In fact, 48% of all pedestrian fatalities involve either an alcohol-impaired driver or pedestrian.
Other dangerous situations for pedestrians
A little common sense goes a long way to preventing serious pedestrian injuries. However, here are a few important risks to remember when travelling on foot.
Many fatal accidents happen at night. Between limited visibility and a larger number of impaired drivers, being a pedestrian at night carries additional risks.
Many injuries happen in crosswalks, especially unmarked crosswalks. Drivers are often looking up for lights to change or looking at scenery and surroundings but oddly enough not focusing on the direct path of travel in front of them. Pedestrians in crosswalks should always try to make eye contact with approaching vehicles to ensure they are seen before entering the crosswalk, marked or not. Never assume the drivers will see you or honor the crosswalk.
No doubt, most pedestrian injuries occur in highly populated urban areas. Certain areas of the Tampa Bay area are notorious for heavy foot traffic. Ybor City, South Howard, Downtown Tampa, Clearwater Beach, and many other hot spots often draw thousands of tourists, college students, and those looking to indulge. The combination of alcohol late at night and drivers unfamiliar with their surroundings can be a deadly combination.
With heavy rain and poor weather conditions, visibility can be greatly diminished. While you cannot change the weather, you can take precautions like not commuting to work on foot on foggy or rainy days.
Best ways to prevent pedestrian injuries
Obviously, no one can account for all the risks, but there are some things you can do to avoid being a victim of a pedestrian crash.
- Wear bright or even reflective clothing. If that’s not our style, consider a reflective belt or vest. You can easily shed it once you get where you are going.
- If you are planning to drink, make sure you use public transportation, cabs, or make sure you have a designated friend who will not be drinking. This person can help ensure you do not walk into traffic or miss warning signs of danger.
- Try not to walk late at night. Obviously, there will be times you may wish to be out late, but just know that with darkness comes added risk.
- Avoid high-traffic areas in bad weather. Call a cab instead.
What happens after a pedestrian accident?
Just like any automobile collision, if you are involved in a pedestrian crash, get medical help immediately. Once you have received emergency medical care, you or someone you trust should call an experienced Pinellas County personal injury attorney who can help to protect your rights and make sure you do not have to fight the insurance company alone. The attorneys of Roman & Roman offer free consultations. Call (877) 767-1032 to speak with an attorney today.