What Are the Most Common Pedestrian Accidents?
When we drive, we understand that we are taking a risk. We understand that we pose a danger in our cars, and other cars are dangerous to us; however, when we are walking on a sidewalk, or crossing the street, we could also taking a risk, even if we do not realize it. Pedestrian accidents are some of the most catastrophic types of accidents that can happen on the road, and often prove fatal. You should not have to bear the financial burden of your recovery on your own. That is what KBG Injury Law is here for: to help you secure the compensation you are entitled to receive under the law, so you can focus on healing.
How vulnerable am I to being hit by a vehicle?
While vehicle accidents are more common, pedestrian accidents are more fatal. the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident than drivers are to be killed in vehicle accidents. They also noted several key risk factors in pedestrian accidents:
- Alcohol impairment: About 47% of pedestrian accidents involved alcohol, whether the pedestrian had been drinking it or the driver.
- Older adults and children: Pedestrians aged 65 and older made up 20% of all fatalities and 10% of all injuries. Additionally, one out of every five children killed in car accidents were pedestrians.
- Speeding: The faster the automobile is moving, the more likely it is to hit a pedestrian as it takes longer to slow down or stop quickly. Further, the faster the car is traveling, the more severe the injury the pedestrian receives.
- Location: The majority of pedestrian accidents tend to happen in cities, at night, at non-intersections.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reported 6,721 pedestrians were killed across the country in 2020; and in Pennsylvania, 2,957 pedestrians were involved in accidents that year, and 146 people died. It was the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1989.
What are common pedestrian accidents?
A car can strike someone for any reason at any point, but there are a few common causes of pedestrian accidents that everyone should know:
- Crosswalk collisions: Accidents at crosswalks usually involve drivers who are turning left or are distracted. They occur more often at night when the driver is unable to see pedestrians.
- Parking lot/backing up accidents: Parking lots and driveways are a common place for pedestrian accidents because sometimes drivers who are trying to leave their parking spots may not check behind them as they back up. Young children in particular are at risk of being hit, as they cannot be seen in the rearview of many vehicles, and because they are likely to run off without warning. A recent study of parking lot collisions involving children between the ages of two and 10 found that 89% of children who were struck were more than an arm’s length away from a parent or guardian.
- Hit-and-run accidents: Hit-and-run accidents can happen under many different circumstances, though impaired driving and distracted driving are common causes. What makes hit-and-runs so deadly is that even if a pedestrian survives the initial impact, his or her treatment could be delayed for so long that the victim will ultimately succumb to this or her injuries.
- Standing collisions: According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), 8.2% of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve a person who is not moving. This could mean a person who has stopped in an intersection, or who is on a sidewalk.
Knowing the type of accident can help our attorneys establish liability, which is a critical component to any pedestrian accident case. This helps us determine what sort of legal action the pedestrian can take against the driver of the vehicle.
What kinds of injuries arise from pedestrian accidents?
The injuries you face as a pedestrian struck by a vehicle are usually very serious, as there is no protection between you and the vehicle. Blunt force trauma is often the primary cause of these injuries.
Among the most serious are:
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord damage is permanent; once the nerves are damaged or severed, that is it. Along with paralysis, SCIs have associated complications – muscle atrophy, gastrointestinal damage, increased risk of respiratory illness, etc. – that get increasingly more severe depending on the point of impact.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause the victim of an accident to suffer cognitive and physical difficulties for the rest of their life. They can impair such aspects such as speech, coordination, memory, and fine motor skills.
- Chest trauma: Because cars are so much bigger now, the point of impact in a collision is higher. When a sedan hits a pedestrian, it hits at the legs, forcing the victim up and over the car. When a pedestrian is hit by an SUV, truck, or other large vehicle, the point of impact is the chest, which causes the pedestrian to twist. This can lead to muscle tears, crushed bones, permanent nerve damage, and other disabling injuries.
- Broken bones: Whether this means a broken arm or leg, or a broken sternum, pelvis, or back, these injuries can take months to heal.
These are just a few of the severe injuries a pedestrian can sustain during a pedestrian accident, and all can accrue substantial medical expenses that can take a lifetime to pay off. These costs can keep someone from going to college or moving to a new home, or from hugging their loved ones. Many victims are unable to work for a significant amount of time, if ever again. Any one of these injuries can ruin a victim’s life not only physically, but financially, emotionally, and psychologically. That is why making sure you get the best attorney is an important beginning step after you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident; we at KBG Injury Law can help.
We do not think we will be hurt while simply walking, but pedestrian accidents are far more common than we tend to think. With a higher probability of receiving a life-threatening injury from one, pedestrian accidents are nothing to take lightly. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries and financial losses from being involved in a pedestrian accident, then you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. In order to get all that you deserve, call KBG Injury Law at 717-848-3838 to find peace of mind and relief when we fight for you. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg, PA. Feel free to use our contact page to schedule an appointment.
The personal injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law are all experienced litigators. Almost all of them represented insurance companies prior to becoming advocates for injured people, which provides them with a unique perspective and insight into how these companies operate. They also offer extensive courtroom experience if going to trial is the best legal alternative for the client.