For most people, crossing the street is one of the most ordinary activities of the day. As long as vehicles obey the rules of the road and stop when and where they should, pedestrians can feel safe when moving from one side of the street to the other.
However, when a driver fails to pay attention to traffic signals, stop signs, or other warnings, their negligence puts pedestrians in danger. When that vehicle moves toward the pedestrian, even at low speeds, the impact can be traumatic.
Pedestrian Injury Accident Statistics
Several state and national studies have examined the prevalence of pedestrian injury accidents. At least one study shows that such accidents are on the rise.
- A report from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) showed that fatal pedestrian accidents in Texas jumped over 14 percent from 2014 to 2015.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that Texas had 4,200 pedestrian deaths from 2003 to 2012., making Texas the 10th-most dangerous state for walking commuters.
- A study by Smart Growth America ranked Houston as the #7 most dangerous city for pedestrians in the U.S., and the most dangerous of any major Texas city.
- A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that almost 129,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms in 2015, or one pedestrian every seven minutes.
- The CDC report also showed that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in an auto accident than passenger vehicle occupants.
Causes of Auto-Pedestrian Injury Accidents
While some auto-pedestrian accidents occur due to the pedestrian’s carelessness or disregard for safe crossing practices, at least half of all such accidents are the fault of the driver. Just as pedestrians need to look out for vehicles as they walk along the street, drivers must also show the same respect and care for pedestrians who share the road with them.
Some of the causes behind auto-pedestrian accidents can include:
- Distracted driving. Drivers may take their eyes off the road to change their radio station, talk to a passenger, or check their mobile phones. Just an instant of distraction can lead to a serious accident in which the driver strikes a pedestrian.
- Aggressive driving. Drivers who exceed the speed limit, change lanes suddenly, or attempt to run through red lights and stop signs pose a significant threat to everyone on the road, but especially pedestrians.
- Drunk driving. The CDC report also showed that 15 percent of the fatal auto-pedestrian accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08, the legal limit for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.
- Loss of control. When a driver loses control of a vehicle, that vehicle creates a dangerous situation for everyone. Drivers may lose control through mechanical failure, a blown tire, or poor road conditions. An out-of-control vehicle can strike pedestrians at intersections, on the road shoulder, or even on the sidewalk.
Injuries In An Auto-Pedestrian Accident
Since pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of the roadways, accidents involving pedestrians often involve the most severe injuries. The speed and weight of a vehicle make any collision between it and a pedestrian a mismatch. The faster the vehicle travels, the more it weighs, and the higher its profile, the more serious the injuries the pedestrian will likely sustain.
With low-profile vehicles, such as small passenger cars, pedestrian injuries typically occur on the lower body. These injuries can include:
- Broken feet
- Dislocated ankles
- Fractured leg bones (tibia, fibula, femur)
- Knee damage (fractured kneecap, torn tendons and ligaments)
- Pelvic fractures
- Dislocated hip joints
- … and much more.
In an accident involving higher-profile vehicles, such as trucks or buses, most of the impact will strike the upper body. The injuries from a pedestrian accident with a high-profile vehicle can include many of the ones listed above as well as:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Facial disfigurement
- Jaw and tooth damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal column damage
- Broken arms or hands
- Fractured ribs
- Internal organ damage
- … and much more.
The type and severity of the injury can depend on a number of factors, including:
- Vehicle size
- Vehicle speed
- Collision angle
- … and much more.
Costs Involved In An Auto-Pedestrian Injury Accident
A pedestrian who has been injured by a vehicle can face a painful and grueling time. Even as the physical healing process begins, the financial impact of the accident can cause havoc in the victim’s life. The costs of a serious pedestrian injury accident often include:
- Hospital stays
- Surgical procedures
- Post-operative care
- Doctors’ office visits
- Physical therapy
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Prescription medications
- Medical supplies
- …and much more.
Why You Need An Auto-Pedestrian Injury Accident Attorney
Insurance carriers are in the business of making a profit. When they pay out claims on a pedestrian injury accident, those payments hurt their bottom line, which is why they employ attorneys to protect their interests. To ensure an even playing field, accident victims also need attorneys to look out for their rights. A pedestrian injury accident attorney can make sure that the client doesn’t get pressured into dropping their case or taking a minimal settlement offer just to “go away”.
Contact An Experienced Auto-Pedestrian Injury Accident Attorney Today
The attorneys and staff at Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C., have years of experience in handling pedestrian injury accident lawsuits. We strive to get as much compensation for our clients as possible for their injuries. We work with clients on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win money for you. Contact us today to set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation. We’ll discuss your case, examine the details, and develop a strategy that will work for you!