During the average year, around 6,000 pedestrians are killed in auto accidents and another 137,000 are hospitalized. Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, particularly when pedestrians are hit by vehicles at a high rate of speed. For those in Southwest Florida looking to avoid being in a pedestrian-related accident, there are a few statistics to keep in mind:
• Just under half of the pedestrian accidents involve alcohol in some way – Around 47% of pedestrian accidents, on average, involve alcohol in some way. Either the pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol while walking on Southwest Florida streets, or the driver of the vehicle had alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Avoiding too much alcohol while walking local streets, and avoiding any alcohol if driving, is a highly effective way to avoid being involved in a pedestrian-related accident.
• Children and the elderly are most at risk – When it comes to demographics of those involved in pedestrian-related accidents, 20% of pedestrian-related fatalities are those 65 years of age or older, and 1 in 5 children in fatal auto crashes in 2017 were pedestrians in pedestrian-related accidents. Those who may need assistance crossing roads should be escorted safely when able, and drivers should always keep a keen eye on sidewalks and intersections while driving through residential or pedestrian-heavy areas.
• Most pedestrian accidents occur at night and in urban areas – Places like Sarasota or Florida’s Suncoast tourist regions are going to see more pedestrian accidents when compared to more rural areas. It makes sense – more urban areas have more people, and this means more people moving about during all times of day or night. When walking at night, pedestrians should always wear bright colors or reflective clothing, make sure to cross responsibly at intersections, and to do so while paying close attention to your surroundings. Vehicles driving through these pedestrian heavy areas should be extra vigilant and even in areas where pedestrians may not normally cross.
Common Pedestrian Related Accident Injuries
Pedestrian-related accident injuries can range from mild, to severe, to fatal. Some of the most common pedestrian-related accident injuries include:
• Head injuries – As much as 38% of pedestrian-related accidents involve head or facial injuries of some kind. This often occurs when the head or face strikes either the windshield or the hood of a vehicle, and this leads to some of the most devastating and long-lasting injuries. Traumatic brain injuries have varied and complex paths to recovery with no two injuries behaving exactly the same. Pedestrians with these sorts of injuries may require long-term medical intervention to maintain a positive quality of life.
• Soft tissue injuries – A soft tissue injury could be as “mild” as a mild sprain, or as severe as internal lacerations. In cases of low-speed pedestrian accidents or very minor accidents, the pedestrian may walk away from the scene with little more than mild soft tissue injuries like bruising and sprains or strains. More severe soft tissue injuries, like lacerations, will need prompt medical attention.
• Broken bones – Broken bones are some of the most common of all pedestrian-related accident injuries. A hairline fracture in the foot might not require more than a cast for some time, but a compound fracture in the leg could require surgery, physical therapy, and prolonged medical care. Broken bones can keep people off of their feet for weeks or even months at a time, cause significant pain, and require significant compensation if the pedestrian accident has been caused by another party’s negligence.
Whether you’ve got a few bumps and bruises, or you need a prolonged hospital stay, it’s important to contact a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney in the aftermath of any pedestrian-related accident.