In the United States, a pedestrian is killed in a car accident once every two hours on average. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least one pedestrian is injured in the U.S. every eight minutes on average. This means that more than 70,000 pedestrians are injured every single year and thousands more die in car wrecks.
Our Columbus car accident lawyers know that pedestrians are at high risk of being killed in a wreck for many different reasons. Sometimes, the accident is the driver's fault and the crash is caused by things like distracted driving or speeding. In other cases, the accident is the pedestrian's fault and the walker is killed because he darts out in the middle of the road or because he does something dangerous when walking while on his smartphone.
Regardless of the reason for the accident, a pedestrian crash is a terrible tragedy. This is especially true when death or serious injury results, both of which are very common because pedestrians are not protected from the force or impact of the crash in any way.
Pedestrians at Increased Risk of Accident Injury
Unfortunately, the number of pedestrians dying in crashes has increased steadily in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, there was an eight percent increase in the number of pedestrians who died in wrecks when comparing 2009 data with 2011 data.
Curbing this increase in deaths needs to be a top priority, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) is taking action. This August, the NHTSA announced that the DOT had launched a series of new tools that are all designed to combat the dangers of pedestrian injury.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, spoke out to announce the launch of the new program to fight pedestrian deaths and stressed that this is a cause that everyone should get behind. Everyone walks sometimes, was his sentiment, so we should all take a serious interest in protecting those who are walking on our roads.
The DOT's new effort launched a website to educate pedestrians, parents and local civil leaders: "Everyone's a Pedestrian." The website can be accessed at http://www.nhtsa.gov/everyoneisapedestrian and contains a great deal of useful information including:
- Tips for safe walking
- Resources and curriculum that can be used to teach walking safety
- Research and data on pedestrian accident risks
- Activities designed to teach techniques regarding fighting pedestrian wrecks.
The DOT will also be offering grant money to states that have a pedestrian fatality rate that is higher than the national average. Around $2 million is available and will be split among eligible states that apply for grants by August 30. The $2 million is part of a larger government expenditure designed to reduce pedestrian wrecks. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has budgeted more than $3.9 billion since 2009 to do as many as 11,000 projects designed to make the roads safer for bicycle riders and pedestrians.
Until infrastructure and policies are in place that prevent dangerous walking conditions, pedestrians need to understand the high potential risk they face and need to do everything possible to keep themselves safe while walking for commuting or pleasure.
If you or a loved one was hurt by negligence in Ohio, call the Smith Law office today at 800-930-SCOTT to schedule a free consultation.