When motor vehicle accidents are discussed, most people only focus on accidents that occur between two drivers or one driver and a non-moving object. While these accident types are dangerous, the conversation leaves accidents involving pedestrians often overlooked. Each summer the number of pedestrians struck by vehicles increases sharply, especially in areas that are home to major tourist attractions. Pedestrian-related motor vehicle accidents have a higher chance in ending with a fatality, making it important to learn what causes these accidents so that everyone sharing roads and walkways can prevent them from occurring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled data on pedestrian traffic accidents that occurred throughout the United States. The data shows that age plays an important role in motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians. Approximately 19% of all pedestrians killed were at least 65 years of age and one fifth of all pedestrians killed were under the age of 15. A lack of awareness and less visibility caused by having a smaller physical profile can increase a pedestrian’s risk of being hit by a vehicle.
Driver distraction is a factor in most motor vehicle accidents, leading to tougher laws regarding the use of cellular phones, in-car DVD systems, and other potentially distracting technology while driving. A driver who is distracted by a device or other passengers is less aware of what is happening on the road. A recent study showed that garbage truck drivers in Maryland are 10 times more likely to die at work than the average person, with a significant portion of that danger caused by distracted or inattentive drivers. The popularity of certain games such as Pokemon Go has increased the danger pedestrians face by providing even more distractions to drivers who should be paying attention to the roads around them.
Use of drugs and alcohol can make the roads deadly for pedestrians. Not only do impaired drivers have slower reaction times and a lower likelihood of noticing the movements of pedestrians, a person who is walking while intoxicated or taking certain medications may fail to notice what is happening around him or her. Approximately 48% of all crashes that involve a pedestrian also involved alcohol. One third of each pedestrian crash that ended in a death involved a pedestrian with alcohol in his or her blood and 15% involved a driver with an elevated blood alcohol level. Certain holidays such as New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, or any holiday that involves drinking large quantities of alcohol often lead to a sharp increase in pedestrian-related car accidents.
If you or someone close to you was injured after being hit by a car while walking, always seek the help of a qualified personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Brassel Alexander, LLC understand how important it is to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions. We work with you to resolve your case quickly and effectively so that you can focus on recovery. Contact our conveniently located Annapolis, Maryland office to schedule an initial consultation today.