The numbers of pedestrian injuries and deaths have been steadily rising each year, and despite many efforts to educate drivers on safety, these numbers are expected to continue climbing for the foreseeable future. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a pedestrian is killed every 1.6 hours in the United States. There were approximately 5,376 pedestrians killed in 2015 and a total of 70,000 injured. That same year, 5,295 highway accidents involved fatalities to one or more pedestrians. These numbers average out to a pedestrian being injured every 7.5 minutes due to a traffic crash. Pedestrian deaths accounted for about 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015.
Each number is a person
The number of pedestrian fatalities in 2015 represented a 9.5 increase from the year before. Twenty-one percent of those deaths were children age 14 or younger. Two-thirds of all pedestrians killed were male. The NHTSA reports that 19 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents were hit-and-runs. Most pedestrians killed (90 percent) died in single-vehicle crashes.
The statistics indicate that walking after dark is a dangerous business. Seventy-four percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred at night. Approximately 26 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents took place between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. in 2015. The largest group of pedestrian fatalities (31 percent) took place from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Some type of alcohol or other impairment was involved in 48 percent of the pedestrian fatalities.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Statistics indicate that there is some safety in numbers for those walking. Fewer pedestrian-vs.-automobile accidents occur in areas with many people on foot or at intersections with clearly defined pedestrian crossings.
Individuals should walk on sidewalks whenever possible. Joggers and other pedestrians should wear reflective clothing. It is best to avoid walking or running at night. Pedestrians should always be aware of their surroundings and not wear ear buds, headphones, or Bluetooth devices that may block their hearing or distract them from what is going on around them.
Pedestrians seeking an insurance lawyer
Pedestrians have the legal right to use of America’s roadways just like motorists. When a pedestrian accident occurs that is the fault of the driver, those who are injured might be able to gain compensation for any medical expenses, long-term therapy, lost wages, and other expenses incurred due to the accident.