Every year in the United States, a significant number of pedestrians are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable for a host of reasons. Often times it is difficult for drivers, especially when operating SUVs, trucks, or other large vehicles, to see pedestrians. Pedestrians move slowly compared to motor vehicles and it is often difficult for drivers to judge how long it will take pedestrians to move from one point to another. Weather conditions and time of day can also significantly affect the ability of drivers to see pedestrians. Often when these accidents occur, they happen in an instant and it is impossible for the pedestrian to avoid collision.
When a collision does occur, pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to serious injury or death. Motor vehicles, on average, weigh 4,000 pounds and generally travel no less than 15 mph. Pedestrians have no protection against the kind of impact that results from a collision with a motor vehicle. If a victim of one of these accidents survives the crash, injuries can be horrendous. Victims often suffer severe brain trauma. Treating severe brain trauma can entail millions of dollars in medical expenses. Both the victim and the victim’s family often feel the burden created by these costs. Additionally, severe brain trauma can leave a victim unable to function normally in both their personal life and professional life. Brain trauma can lead to numerous personality disorders, which might affect a victim’s personal relations. Victims may be physically unable to continue their employment leading to loss of wages. Even in cases where injuries are less severe than brain trauma, victims may find themselves out of work for months at a time. Thus, pedestrian victims of motor vehicle accidents may be entitled to significant recovery.
A report by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration found that 4,280 pedestrians were killed in automobile crashes in 2010. An estimated 70,000 more were injured in similar crashes. A pedestrian, therefore, was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 4 percent between 2009 and 2010. As a pedestrian, it is more likely than ever to be killed or injured by a motor vehicle.
Older pedestrians are the most likely age group to be involved in a motor vehicle collision. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that pedestrians age 65 and older accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and an estimated 11 percent of all pedestrians injured in 2010.
Children also make up a significant portion of pedestrians killed and injured. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children age 15 and under accounted for 78 percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 23 percent of all pedestrians injured in traffic crashes.
If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, call a Coweta County auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770)-484-8999 and ask to schedule a free legal consultation.