Pedestrian Fatalities Down, But Still a Problem
Each year, thousands of people die in this country after being struck by motor vehicles while walking. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,092 pedestrians died and 59,000 were injured in 2009, the last year for which statistics are available. Although this marks a significant decrease from previous years, the numbers indicate that pedestrian accidents remain a cause for serious concern in the United States. In fact, pedestrian deaths accounted for nearly 12 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.
Researchers identified some overall trends for pedestrian accidents:
- 72 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas
- 69 percent occurred at night
- 89 percent occurred in normal weather
- Alcohol was a factor in 48 percent of all pedestrian fatalities
Experts recommend that pedestrians take the following steps to stay safe and avoid accidents with motor vehicles:
- Stay alert: in most situations, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks. Pedestrians should watch to make sure that vehicles are not in the path of a car that is turning and has not seen them.
- Use a designated crosswalk: even when using a designated crosswalk, pedestrians should stop to look left, right and left again before crossing.
- Stay visible: when walking at night, wear bright, reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
- Keep to the sidewalk: it is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if it is necessary to walk on the street, do so on the side facing oncoming traffic.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced Boston personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you deserve. For more information, contact an attorney today.