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Pedestrian Deaths Nationwide

Personal Injury Lawyer

Pedestrian deaths totaled close to 6,000 in 2017 and 2016, further suggesting that drivers and walkers are dangerously distracted. Texting while walking and drivers using phones pose increased risks, according to the latest Governors Highway Safety Association report.

Further common causes of pedestrian deaths, aside from distracted driving and walking, include pedestrians crossing at mid-block, sometimes after getting off a bus or the light rail. Other causes include driver’s speeding, changing lanes before an intersection, making a left or right turn without paying full attention, and to those in crosswalks.

Impairment of drivers or pedestrians also increase the risk of pedestrian injuries, or fatalities. Alcohol reduces and impairs brain function, thinking, reasoning, muscle coordination, all related to safely driving a car. Drunk driving crashes are responsible for more than 10,000 deaths per year.

Another cause of pedestrian injuries, fatalities is drowsy driving, also responsible for thousands of crashes per year. Crashes related to sleepiness often occur in the evening, and on higher speed roads.

Each year about 626 children die in pedestrian fatalities. Young children are at higher risk for injury or death from traffic incidents because they aren’t thinking about traffic. Parents and caregivers often overestimate children’s awareness of cars and their understanding of traffic rules. Children younger than 10 years of age are unable to recognize the speed of oncoming vehicles, putting them at greater risk in traffic accidents.

Of the children pedestrian fatalities, ninety-three percent of children killed were in single-vehicle crashes. Seventy-five percent were killed in urban areas. Sixty-nine percent did not occur at intersection locations. Fifty-five percent were killed during daylight. Compared to all ages, more child pedestrians were killed during daylight than adult pedestrians.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) have tips for parents to keep their families safe.

Walking Safety Tips

  1. Children younger than 10 years old should not cross the street alone.
  2. Parents need to be role models. Be predictable. Obey traffic signs, signals and rules of the road.
  3. Teach children to look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street, and then to keep looking around while crossing.
  4. Walk on sidewalks if they are available.
  5. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street and as far from oncoming traffic as possible.
  6. Stay alert. Keep eyes and ears scanning your surroundings.
  7. Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians.
  8. Teach children that just because they can see a driver does not mean the driver sees them. Never assume a driver sees you. Try to make eye contact with drivers, to make sure you are seen.
  9. Be visible. Try to wear bright colors during the day and reflective material at night. Try to use a flashlight to increase visibility at dusk or in the dark.
  10. Be extra careful around driveways and parking lots. Watch for cars backing up.
  11. Call for a ride if you are impaired.

Remedies to reduce pedestrian injuries include adding extra police patrols in dangerous areas, and positioning police near light rail platforms and bus stops. Other safety measures include crosswalk islands, heavily marked crosswalks, improved street lighting, and reduced speed at dangerous intersections.

A personal injury lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on will investigate potential negligence and assess the nature and extent of the claims for injuries, medical bills, lost income, since the collision and for the future.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into personal injury cases and pedestrian deaths.

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