Pedestrian accidents occur the most in large populated urban states like our “Golden State” California.
As children, one of the earliest walking safety tips we’re taught is to look both ways before crossing any street. And no matter what part of the world we live in, this tip is timeless for many when it comes to maintaining pedestrian safety. Nonetheless, while walking is definitely good for our health, and looking both ways before crossing the street is practical, pedestrian accidents are still prevalent.
In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. That’s about one death every 88 minutes. Additionally, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal crash-related injuries in 2017. As we see, pedestrian safety is still a significant concern. It’s important, then, to look at the statistics behind pedestrian accidents and learn walking safety tips that can be implemented to counteract pedestrian accidents, injuries, and the like.
Statistics Behind Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians include those who walk, jog, hike, and even construction workers along the road. They also include people who are using skates, skateboards, and the like to travel. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability who uses a wheelchair, tricycle, or quadricycle as transportation.
Per trip, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash. There is a growing opinion that these figures are climbing due to distracted drivers. Drivers today are more likely to be looking at their phones while driving.
Road and motorist laws regarding crosswalks, sidewalks, and right-of-ways are set in place to protect pedestrians, but all pedestrians — no matter their form of pedestrian transportation — should likewise exercise caution when near roads since they’re particularly by having no structural defense. According to this article, certain groups of people are also at higher risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list the following:
❗ Male pedestrians are more likely to be injured than women.
❗ Teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 are more likely to be treated for injuries as a pedestrian in emergency rooms in comparison to any other age group.
❗ 34 percent of pedestrians who died as a result of a pedestrian crash had a .08 percent blood alcohol concentration or higher.
❗ Children are at higher risk of dying if hit as a pedestrian. One in five traffic fatalities of children who were 14 years old or younger was caused by this type of crash.
Why So Many Accidents and What To Do
In cars, we are more protected during a collision, but pedestrians have little to no protection between them and a 4,000-pound vehicle. Especially when they are in designated pedestrian safe zones, pedestrians may not even be on guard for an approaching car. But when your job puts you on the road, there are more possibilities for an accident, too. If you’re working in construction, even with proper signage, many drivers will disregard those signs and drive at unsafe speeds and dangerously close to workers that are repairing the roads.
Accidents can quickly turn deadly for pedestrians. According to the state of California Department of Motor Vehicles, in 22 percent of traffic fatalities, a pedestrian death occurs. As a pedestrian, you trust right-of-way rules to protect you when you get on the streets. When you follow the rules of the road and cross the street properly, you expect to be safe. As a motorist or pedestrian, you can keep a few things in mind when getting on the road to promote pedestrian safety:
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way in any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection
- Drivers must slow down and take any other necessary steps to ensure pedestrian safety when approaching a crosswalk
- Pedestrians must yield to drivers when crossing outside of any marked or unmarked crosswalks
- Pedestrians should not unnecessarily delay traffic while crossing
- Drivers should allow sufficient time for any pedestrians crossing
As a pedestrian or driver, you can ensure pedestrian safety by being cautious and aware. You can find some simple tips and advice on pedestrian right-of-way rules here. When you get on the road, whether you are a pedestrian or driver, you should always encourage respect. Respecting and sharing the road might be what keeps you from getting into a collision. Maintaining a sense of community on the road is also a good habit to develop.
Common Pedestrian Injuries & Walking Safety Tips
This article talks about some of the most common car accident injuries and how to avoid them. Whether you live in California or you’re here on vacation, an unexpected accident can cause painful injuries that could impact you for weeks and years to come. Some types of injuries are more common in a pedestrian-vehicle accident.
whiplash ● scrapes and cuts ● head injuries
knee trauma ● internal bleeding ● herniated disc
broken ribs or other bones ● PTSD
Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries that can happen in a car accident. When you’re in a car accident, your body often moves suddenly; faster than you would ever move on your own. That trauma can strain muscles and other soft tissues without breaking bones. Whiplash can be very painful, and it can take time to heal.
Scrapes and cuts
You may receive cuts from the impact of your vehicle or the other vehicle, or you might get hit by loose projectiles in the car like your phone. Either way, scrapes, and cuts can be painful as well as pose a risk for infections and other complications.
Head injures (TBIs)
Can cause immediate injuries and complications that last far into the future. If not treated properly, traumatic brain injuries can cause long-term problems with brain function as well as headaches and sleeping difficulties.
You might need braces, crutches or surgery to rebuild your knee and correct for damage. Knees are complicated, and knee injuries can be painful. Knee injuries in a car accident are especially frustrating because they can cause difficulty walking.
While it’s common to suffer cuts in an accident, it’s also not surprising to suffer from internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can be dangerous especially if it’s not treated quickly after the crash. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately for anything but the most minor accidents. If there’s any chance that you may have suffered internal bleeding, it’s crucial to find critical care to make sure that you don’t have life-threatening injuries.
Just like you can break a bone in a car crash, you can also suffer from a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when one or more vertebrae in your spine either rupture or shift out of place. A herniated disc can cause pain and complications.
Broken ribs (and other bones)
Ribs are fragile. Even light or moderate impact can cause ribs to break. You might suffer broken ribs in a car accident when you’re pushed forwards, backward, or sideways because of the impact of the crash. Broken ribs can be painful and require long periods of rest.
Not all car accident injuries are physical. You might suffer from mental and emotional injuries because of a car accident. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder, and things that used to be routine may become worrisome and even impossible. You may be able to recover for your mental health treatment and emotional suffering after a car accident.
Pedestrian injury and fatality accidents are preventable if people are alert and follow simple safety tips while driving or crossing the intersection. In this article, we are given some simple yet practical walking safety tips, because if drivers remain alert while operating motor vehicles, some accidents are avoidable:
- When jogging, walking, or running, remain on the sidewalk beside the street or shoulder of the road.
- Cross streets at a designated crosswalk or intersection whenever possible.
- Where there are no crosswalks or intersections to cross the street, wait until traffic clears, and constantly watch to ensure no vehicle is moving.
- Always walk facing on-going traffic and avoid the use of smartphones and other electronic devices.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests especially during nighttime.
- Drivers and pedestrians must avoid prescribed medications and controlled substances, such as alcohol which causes impairment.
If You Are Injured As A Pedestrian
Pedestrians can’t control the cars on the road and drivers can’t control any pedestrians; the only thing you can control is your mindfulness of where you are.
No one ever wants to experience a catastrophic accident, but the fact of the matter is that they do happen. Therefore, all should exercise caution when near roads. Pedestrians also have the responsibility of using reasonable discretion when out in public and near vehicles. And when you’re injured in an auto accident, you will need to work with an experienced injury lawyer to build a claim for recovery. The damages awarded are meant to compensate you for your injuries and restore your life to normal.
The Raynes | Erickson team is here to help. You have the right to pursue compensation from the driver of the vehicle. This compensation can cover medical bills, which are likely to be extensive, loss of income, while the victim is unable to return to work, additional expenses, and pain and suffering that result from the accident. Please contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential legal consultation today.