When you are hit by a car while walking, it is called a pedestrian knock down case under the law. Pedestrians are more at risk in high population areas, but these type accidents also happen in rural areas as well. Typically, the time of day is also a factor with accidents happening more often during low visibility times like after dark or during bad weather.
It is estimated that almost 6,000 people die in the US every year from being hit by a vehicle. A recent report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) showed “the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States (U.S.) increased 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, while at the same time, total traffic deaths increased by about six (6) percent.”
We believe all pedestrian crashes are avoidable. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) specifically distinguishes situations where vehicle hit pedestrians as crashes as opposed to accidents because “crashes are preventable.”
What causes these crashes?
A more recent factor contributing to the increase in pedestrian fatalities may be the growing use of smart phones by all road users, which can be a significant source of distraction for both drivers and pedestrians. According to The Wireless Association, the reported number of annual multimedia messages increased by 45 percent from 2014 to 2015, and the volume of annual wireless data usage more than doubled.
Mobile device usable while driving is an issue on the rise. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), conducted a survey in 2013 and found that 660,000 drivers use cell phones while driving.
Driver negligence is a frequent contributing factor to crashes in which a pedestrian is injured or killed. Driver inattention is often linked to crashes resulting death or serious injury. Drivers not yielding to pedestrians on or near the roadway is another major contributor.
How often do fatal accidents happen?
The most recent crash data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government agency tasked with helping to establish the safest possible highway and motor vehicle conditions, shows there were 35,092 people killed in crashes on U.S. roadways during 2015, an increase from 32,744 in 2014. The 7.2-percent increase is the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years.
What are the most common injuries when a pedestrian is hit?
The most common injured when a pedestrian crash occurs are:
- Head and Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Other Soft Tissue Injuries
The vehicle speed is a major factor in the intensity of an injury. When a vehicle is traveling 20 MPH or less and hits a pedestrian, the fatality rate is about 5%; however, if the vehicle moves just 10 MPH faster, the fatality rate jumps to 40%. The size of the vehicle is also a significant factor as well, with the mass of a large vehicle, like a bus, being more deadly than the mass of a small sedan.
How can I avoid being hit by a car?
Ultimately, crashes happen, but there are a few things you can do to help avoid a pedestrian knockdown crash you should:
- Use crosswalks and signals whenever possible.
- Make sure drivers can see you by making eye contact before crossing a street if a vehicle is in motion and approaching you.
- Stay on sidewalks or as close to the shoulder if no sidewalk is available.
- Don’t look at your phone while traveling near roadways!
- If it is dark or low visibility consider reflective clothing or a flashlight.
Your Important Choice
If you were involved in a crash as a pedestrian, it is most likely in your best interest to speak with a lawyer who focuses on injury law to get help, this is especially true if you were seriously injured. At Earner & Weaver we can help you navigate the waters of recovery and holding the person who hit you accountable. We don’t charge for consultations and only get paid from any settlements of verdicts we obtain on your behalf.
Earner & Weaver is here to help. It is always free to speak with us. If you need to speak with a lawyer about a potential claim involving whiplash, please call us at (877) 862-4635 or use the form below to submit your information to us. We will gladly help you understand your rights and options.