Pedestrian accidents often end in fatalities, or at the very least, serious injuries. They may happen more commonly in busy cities, especially in areas where nightlife and alcoholic beverages are plentiful. Pedestrian accidents are also common in tourist cities where the streets are crowded with shoppers and adventurers; however, we all know that while these areas may be the most common, disastrous pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere.
Some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention validate the seriousness of these accidents. It may be alarming to know that it is estimated that for any 24-hour period, emergency rooms will treat an average of 445 people from injuries related to pedestrian accidents. In 2012, 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries, and 4,743 pedestrians were killed.
Pedestrian deaths are increased for older individuals, while teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 29 years old are more often treated in emergency rooms. Children, who are at the greatest risk of injury or death in pedestrian accidents, are -- like older individuals -- in an increased percentage rate of fatalities. Approximately one in four deaths of children resulting from a traffic accident is as a pedestrian.
There are steps that people can, and should, take to help prevent these types of accidents when traveling by foot, wheelchair, or other pedestrian means: Walk on sidewalks if possible instead of the side of the road. Cross at intersections and look both ways even if the light is in Walk mode. Carry flashlights or wear reflective clothing if you are out at night. Hold onto children's hands tightly and keep your attention focused on their actions.
These safety tips can help save lives. Watching out for reckless or unsafe drivers is also very important. Drunk drivers on the road may not even see a person walking right in front of them, or stop for a red light. Drivers must also watch for pedestrians.
If you or your family have experienced a pedestrian accident, you know first-hand how lives can be changed in a split-second due to the wrong decision someone makes. It often takes years, if ever, to be able to unravel the calamity. There are people you can turn to for help in these situations; counselors, therapists and attorneys can all help you to get your life back on track.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety," accessed Oct. 13, 2015