When you think of auto-accidents, the first instance that comes to mind is not often one that involves pedestrians. 2017 marked the second year in a row for the highest amount of pedestrian fatalities since 1990. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017, most being children and the elderly.
Though there is no specific evidence to support why these fatalities are growing year-by-year at such an alarming number, it does allow room for speculation.
Some of the most dangerous conditions that can be directly linked to increased auto-pedestrian accidents are:
• Lack of Light. The most dangerous condition for a pedestrian accident is the inability to be seen. In 2017, 75% percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark. In addition, 72% of the victims were walking in or crossing a road and were not in an intersection.
• Alcohol Consumption. This can apply to an impaired driver or pedestrian. Around 40% of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol use by the pedestrian. This is much higher than the 18 % of accidents that involve alcohol consumption by a driver in an auto pedestrian accident. It is not illegal to walk while impaired, but you must remember it does heighten your chances of being involved in an accident and can be extremely dangerous.
• Urban Areas. About 65% of pedestrian injuries happen in a more urban setting. There is usually a denser population and people often take advantage of living in a walkable area.
• Children and the Elderly. These two groups of people are especially at risk. Children do not always know their surroundings and can be unprepared for the situations they end up in. An elderly individual can often take longer than expected to cross an intersection or may even need assistance. Both of these situations can result in drivers and pedestrians being in a risky situation.
Pedestrian and auto accidents cost the U.S. over $250 billion a year. It is important to make smart decisions as a pedestrian by obeying all laws, keeping an extra eye on children, commuting on foot during daylight or in well-lit areas, and avoiding alcohol consumption while traveling on foot. If you are a driver, keep yourself alert and focused –especially at night– for pedestrians and use increased caution when driving in more urban areas.
If you or a loved one find yourself in a situation involving a pedestrian-auto accident, our Maryland car accident attorneys have the experience necessary to help you best handle your situation. Contact Potter Burnett Law today to receive a free evaluation of your pedestrian accident case.