Adolescents Face High Risk for Pedestrian Accidents
December 1, 2020
According to a recent study published by Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW), older teens (ages 12 to 19) are the most at-risk for pedestrian injuries and accidents. The risk of nonfatal injuries for teens between 12 and 14 has actually grown by a staggering 74%. Child safety and health advocates agree: distraction is one of the top contributing factors behind these concerning numbers.
On average, motor vehicles strike two children every hour. In 2018, motor vehicles struck and injured more than 15,000 children and teens. Age plays a major role in the numbers. For example, while kids between zero and 11 are almost 50% less likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident today than they were 15 years ago, deadly motor vehicle and pedestrian-related risks for teenagers have only gone down by 20%. Despite the good news that fatal accidents have dropped in the younger population, nonfatal injury rates continue to skyrocket.
SKW reports that one in five children 14-years-old and younger and one in 10 children between 15 and 19-years-old who are killed in motor vehicle accidents are pedestrians, not drivers or passengers. Data indicates that pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles result in approximately 6,000 fatalities every year. Some years, the number is higher. Because of the heightened risks of being a pedestrian, it is essential to take a few steps to limit your chance of being seriously injured.
Distraction is not only a dangerous mistake for drivers, but also for pedestrians. The National Safety Council (NSC) calls it “distracted walking”, and it can lead to an accident in the blink of an eye. Pedestrians should avoid distractions from mobile phones, streaming content like music, playing games, and even eating and drinking. Pedestrians should also cross at marked crosswalks, obey traffic signs, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. While it is important that pedestrians practice caution, as operators of thousands of pounds of potentially deadly force it is arguably even more imperative for drivers to be safe and to behave responsibly when behind the wheel.
Other Risk Factors for Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers in nearly every state are legally obligated to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Even with laws in place to protect pedestrians, they are still 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than passengers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is a major culprit in deadly collisions between cars and pedestrians. Nearly one-half of all deadly crashes resulting in pedestrian death involve alcohol-impaired drivers. Some other notable risk factors in tragic pedestrian incidents include:
- When a vehicle is speeding it not only increases the chances of an accident but also injury severity
- Pedestrian accidents happen most frequently in urban (more heavily trafficked) areas as well as at non-intersection locations
- Most pedestrian deaths occur at dusk or nighttime
Knowing some of the biggest risk factors for pedestrian accidents is just one way to make a positive impact. If you drive, commit to following safety precautions known to help keep pedestrians safe. Here are just a few examples of useful safety tips for drivers from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians everywhere and at all times
- Always drive carefully, but be extra cautious when it is dark outside or there is inclement weather like rain, ice, or snow
- Follow posted speed limits and traffic alerts
- Check for pedestrians when backing up
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
Pedestrian accidents can cause both physical and emotional injuries to a victim. Whether a person suffers permanent injuries or makes a full recovery, it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer to discuss your options. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident and would like to learn more about filing a claim, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Pedestrians Since 1947
Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.