Pedestrian Injury Statistics in the U.S.
According to the NHTSA, in 2013 approximately 4,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents, and an additional 66,000 were injured. This equates to a pedestrian fatality taking place every two hours in the United States, and a pedestrian injury every eight minutes. The state of Texas also has some work to do when it comes to pedestrian safety. Texas had the third-highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation, with 480 pedestrian deaths in 2013. In Houston alone, 43 pedestrian fatalities occurred—constituting almost 23% of all traffic fatalities.
Children & the Elderly Are at Increased Risk of Pedestrian Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has reported that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than vehicle occupants to suffer a fatality in a traffic accident. There are groups of pedestrians who are statistically even more likely to be seriously hurt or injured. Elderly adults constitute one high-risk group. Americans aged 65 years or older accounted for 20% of all traffic pedestrian deaths in 2012. Children are also at risk. In 2012, more than 20% of pedestrian deaths involved children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Tips for Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrians who commute in areas without proper sidewalks are also at an increased risk of death or injury. When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians should stay on the shoulder and should walk facing or against traffic, rather than with the flow of traffic. This allows the pedestrian better visibility and the ability to see oncoming cars and traffic conditions so that they can move out of the way if necessary.
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially at night
- Carrying a flashlight
- Using only designated crosswalks
- Following all applicable traffic signs and signals
- Staying on the sidewalk when possible
There are some crosswalks and intersections that are notoriously dangerous for pedestrians. In these scenarios, successful claims and lawsuits have been filed against cities for their failure to provide adequate crosswalks and warning signals. Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer if you believe city planners played a role in your pedestrian accident. Drivers also play a role in protecting pedestrians. So how can they help maintain pedestrian safety? Drivers frequently fail to give the right of way to pedestrians. They may also fail to look carefully before crossing a street. Drivers need to be vigilant at night or in low-light situations; studies show the risk of accidents significantly increases after sunset.
Drunk Driving: A Leading Cause of Pedestrian Death
One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents is drunk driving. According to the CDC, alcohol plays a role in around 48% of traffic crashes that end in a pedestrian fatality. Drivers who choose to drive while intoxicated endanger all those on or near the road.
Unfortunately, many drunk drivers also leave the scene of the car accident and fail to provide aid to those injured. Any driver who is involved in an accident is required to stop and assess the situation. He or she must not only render aid to injured victims if necessary but must also stay at the scene of the accident in order to speak with law enforcement officials and to exchange insurance information.
Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Drivers who are responsible for pedestrian accidents will likely have to provide payment under their auto insurance policies. Injured pedestrians may also be able to secure additional coverage under their own auto insurance policies. Even if the driver that hit you has already been cited with a moving violation or drunk driving charges, you may be able to take additional actions against them. Our firm can help.
We have been serving our community for years, and our track record shows our ability to win major cases and achieve deserved compensation for our injured clients. Whether you or someone you love was seriously hurt or even killed in a Texas pedestrian accident, we invite you to contact Arnold & Itkin for tough advocacy and support during this challenging time. Let us make your voice heard to the parties responsible for your pain.
To learn more about your rights and to receive a free initial evaluation of your case, contact our firm at (888) 493-1629.