Many car accidents in the United States happen because drivers are distracted and not paying attention to the road. Pedestrian accidents are no exception. With the increasing amount of technology available to distract drivers, it is amazing that more innocent pedestrians are not hit and killed by cars that veer out of control. Pedestrian accidents are often caused by drivers who are talking or texting on cellphones; changing radio stations; fiddling with the car’s smart computer system in newer vehicles; switching the music source; checking the weather; setting and following the navigation system and more. Today’s drivers multitask as much behind the wheel as they do at the office. The difference, of course, is that the worse that can happen while multitasking at the office is that a mistake is made; while doing so in a car or truck, it can lead to a horrible injury or death.
While driver’s distraction is the cause of many motor vehicle accidents, other forms of driver negligence (or even recklessness) are the cause of many accidents as well. For example, drunk driving and speeding, two common forms of negligent driving, often claim innocent lives.
Statistics of Pedestrian Accidents
According to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 70,000 pedestrians were injured and 4,280 pedestrians were killed in accidents with motor vehicles in the year 2017. That year, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities and 3 percent of all those injured in traffic accidents.
Given that urban areas have more traffic, more pedestrian fatalities happen in urban environments than in rural communities.
- In 2017, 73 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurred in cities.
- The safest place for pedestrians to cross streets and roadways are intersections with only 21 percent of fatalities happening there, versus 79% happening at locations that are not intersections. Of these deaths, 68 percent occurred during nighttime.
- Interestingly, the weather did not seem to have a significant impact on the occurrence of pedestrian fatalities: 88 percent of fatalities occurred during days where the weather was either clear or cloudy, versus only 1 percent on snowy or foggy days and 9 percent on rainy days.
- Two age groups were particularly affected in pedestrian accidents during 2017: elderly pedestrians (over the age of 65) represented 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and approximately 11 percent of all those pedestrians injured. The other group, children (ages 15 and younger) represented 7 percent of all pedestrian deaths in 2010, and accounted for 23 percent of all pedestrians injured in car accidents.
- Another noteworthy statistic has to do with gender: males represented more than two-thirds (69 percent) of all the pedestrians killed in car/truck crashes during 2017. In fact, more than twice as many males than females died in pedestrian accidents during 2010. Similarly, while the male pedestrian injury rate was 25 per 100,000 individuals, the female pedestrian injury rate was 20 per 100,000 individuals.
Typical Pedestrian Injuries
Given the disadvantage that pedestrians have with regard to vehicles (no matter how small the vehicle is), the injuries typically suffered by pedestrians tend to be grave. Consider that the average automobile weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, while the average man weighs about 195 pounds and the average woman weighs 165 pounds. Following are just a few examples of the most common types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Burns and lacerations
- Significant scarring
- Injuries to joints and muscles
- Dental injuries
Things to do After a Pedestrian Accident in Northern Virginia
Here are some of this things you must know and consider if you are involved in a pedestrian-related accident:
1. Document what took place. Take photos. Gather witness statements. Take note of stop or yield signs, traffic signals, and if you can, even the speed of the vehicle. This becomes handy when the driver and you, the pedestrian, argue about who is at fault.
2. Call the police if you are to file a report. Take note that it is very vital to get the license plate number and model of the vehicle involved. This information could go a long way during the investigation process.
3. Seek medical attention to check for any other injuries. Some injuries do not become apparent until hours or days after the accident.
We Can Help
If you have been injured as a pedestrian or if you have lost a loved one as a pedestrian, you need to immediately contact an experienced lawyer that can help you obtain the compensation you and your family may be entitled to. This compensation may include funds to pay for past and future medical bills, funds for rehabilitation therapy, financial compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for past and future lost wages.
At The Avery Law Firm, we have handled many pedestrian cases: from cases where our clients have been crossing at the crosswalk, to cases where they have been crossing at “unmarked” crosswalks, including cases where they have been crossing in the middle of a block. We have also represented pedestrians that have been standing on the shoulder of a highway and others that have been stepping off a curb.
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, please contact us immediately at 703-462-5050 to schedule a free consultation. Please note that we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay us anything unless we obtain compensation for you.