Be Aware Of The Risk Factors That Lead To Pedestrian Accidents

In many areas in Colorado, motor vehicles are required to share the road with people traveling by other means - such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Due to the disparity in size and power, when a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, for instance, the consequences can be tragic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 4,300 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010. In addition, another approximately 70,000 people sustained personal injuries after being involved in such collisions.

Older and younger pedestrians more at risk

Certain groups of people have been found to be particularly at risk of being injured or killed in pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. According to information from the AARP, individuals over the age of 65 are the most likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident in the United States. In 2011, 20 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in this country were senior citizens. This statistic is particularly staggering when one considers that senior citizens only make up 13 percent of the population in the U.S.

In addition, children are also at a high risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. In fact, 19 percent of youngsters between the ages of five and nine who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2010 were pedestrians. In addition, those under 16 years of age comprised 23 percent of the individuals who sustained personal injuries in pedestrian accidents.

Factors that lead to deadly pedestrian accidents

When it comes to factors that increase the risk that a pedestrian accident will result in death or a serious injury, the speed of the vehicle at the time of the impact is particularly important.

According to a study conducted by the London Department for Transport, a pedestrian is five times more likely to be killed if the vehicle is traveling at 40 mph rather than 30 mph. Emphasizing that point, from 2000 to 2009, 60 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. occurred on streets with posted speed limits of 40 mph or above.

Contrary to what many would believe, marked crosswalks have not been found to make much difference when it comes to preventing pedestrian fatalities. The US Federal Highway Administration has reported that there are a similar number of collisions in areas with marked and unmarked crosswalks on roads with two lanes. A marked crosswalk actually increases the risk of a pedestrian accident on roads with more than two lanes.

When someone is injured in a pedestrian accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the damage caused in the collision. Consulting with a skilled personal injury attorney will ensure his or her rights are protected.