Walking on or near a roadway where motor vehicles are traveling comes with some inherent risk, but those risks can be greater for certain demographics. Understanding who is most at-risk for an auto-pedestrian accident can help individuals prevent some accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are ages 5 to 15 are at risk for being injured or killed in pedestrian-related accidents. In fact, out of all children in this age range who were killed in auto accidents in 2012, approximately 20 percent were pedestrians at the time of the accident. Adults can help prevent such accidents by watching younger children carefully when near roads and by teaching children of all ages appropriate road safety.
Another at-risk population is older adults. Approximately 20 percent of deaths of pedestrians in incidents during 2012 involved the death of someone older than 65 years of age. We can work to prevent some of these accidents and injuries by assisting older individuals with rides and being cognizant, as drivers, that older pedestrians might not see or hear as well as younger counterparts.
Finally, pedestrians who are intoxicated are more likely to be involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. In auto-pedestrian accidents where alcohol was a factor and a pedestrian died, investigations show that pedestrians had an above-legal BAC level approximately a third of the time. Offering friends a ride home to keep them from walking along streets after a few drinks is one way to reduce such risks.
Taking action can definitely reduce risks of pedestrian injuries and deaths, but these accidents won't become extinct. Because accidents can always happen, it's important to know your legal rights and how to seek compensation for losses associated with a pedestrian accident.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed Feb. 02, 2016