Pedestrian collisions where vehicles strike individuals are among the worst crashes that occur. The human body is very vulnerable in such scenarios, and a crash that doesn’t even leave marks on a vehicle could cause life-altering or fatal injuries for the pedestrian who is hit.
Pedestrians often take for granted that motorists will watch for them and engage in appropriate traffic safety behaviors, only to end up learning the hard way that not everyone cares about safety and pays attention to their surroundings while driving. As a result, pedestrians may benefit from learning about three factors that contribute to their risk of being involved in a major pedestrian crash.
The one factor that has the strongest association with fatal pedestrian collisions is alcohol consumption. Oftentimes, the drivers who hit pedestrians are under the influence. There are also many cases each year where the pedestrians themselves are under the influence. Occasionally, both the pedestrian and the motorist will have high levels of alcohol in their bodies at the time of a crash. If someone must walk home after drinking, they should be aware of their surroundings and extra cautious so that they don’t do anything to endanger themselves.
The speed of the vehicle
The most significant risk factor for major injuries or death for a pedestrian is elevated speed on the part of a motor vehicle. Once the rate of speed exceeds the standard speed limit in residential and commercial neighborhoods, the risk of someone dying or having life-altering injuries because they’ve been hit significantly increases. Pedestrians can therefore protect themselves by specifically choosing routes with lower speed limits whenever possible.
There are two ways in which someone’s location affects the likelihood of a deadly crash. Pedestrian collisions often occur in urban areas, but collisions in rural areas where speed limits are higher are often more injurious and deadly. Additionally, whether someone crosses at a marked crosswalk or not may have an impact on their chances of a collision. Crossing at places where motorists know to look for pedestrians could decrease the chance of someone getting hurt while walking or jogging.
When pedestrian crashes do occur, the people injured may need to make an insurance claim. Often, when injuries are severe, insurance will not be enough to cover their losses. Those with brain injuries, multiple fractures or other severe injuries may need to consider a personal injury lawsuit to fully recover their expenses. Avoiding pedestrian crash risks whenever possible and knowing what steps to take should a collision occur help people more effectively protect themselves out on the road and in the aftermath of a wreck.