A pedestrian who is involved in a motor vehicle accident is defined as any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes and an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal, crash-related injuries.
According to crash statistics from 2018, location, time of day, alcohol, and other factors may play a role in a pedestrian death.
- 17% of all traffic fatalities were pedestrian deaths
- 81% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas, 19% occur in rural areas
- 76% of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark
- 26% of pedestrian fatalities occurred from 6 pm – 9 pm
- 69% of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were males
- 48% percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol, either for the driver or the pedestrian
- 19% pedestrians killed were struck by a hit-and-run driver
The growing number of drivers distracted by mobile devices is also partly to blame. About 10% of fatal crashes involve a distracted driver, and about 3% of drivers on the road on any given day are talking on cell phones. The increasing number of larger vehicles on the road may also play a factor. The Governors Highway Safety Association said the number of pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs increased at a rate of 50% from 2013 to 2017 compared to passenger cars, which increased by 30%. Older adults and children may be at a higher risk of pedestrian fatality. Pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 10% of all pedestrian injuries in 2017. That same year, one in every five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Over the past 10 years, the average age of those killed has increased, from 45 to 48. The pedestrian fatality rates of major cities were generally higher than the national average. In 2018, the highest was in Los Angeles with 117, followed by New York with 112 and Phoenix with 110. Seattle had the fewest numbers of pedestrian fatalities with 8, followed by Boston with 9. Drivers should stay extra vigilant for pedestrians, especially at night, in poor lighting conditions, or during inclement weather. Pedestrians are encouraged to walk on the sidewalk when possible and make themselves visible to motor vehicles.
A lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Phoenix, AZ from the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC, can investigate fault, look into applicable insurance coverage, and evaluate claims for injuries and damages. A consultation should be free, and there should be no fees unless a settlement is obtained.