Maybe it won't come as a shock to you to find out that studies show that pedestrians who are hit at a higher rate of speed by a moving vehicle are more likely to be severely injured or die the faster that vehicle is moving.
It might surprise you, however, just how rapidly that risk of severe injury or death increases. Severe injuries occur in 10 percent of cases where the car is moving at only 16 miles per hour -- about what many cars are moving in a parking lot.
However, that risk of serious injury jumps to 50 percent when the car is moving at just 31 miles per hour. That is about what a car might be doing on a city street near a crosswalk.
Pedestrian deaths show a similar increase. While deaths hover around 10 percent when cars are going only 23 miles-per-hour, the death rate climbs to about 50 percent at 42 miles per hour.
In other words, it doesn't take much difference in speed to turn what could have simply been a bad accident between a pedestrian and a car and an actual death.
For pedestrians -- and this includes walkers, joggers, runners and bicyclists -- the implications are clear: if you want to stay safer on the road, pick an area where the vehicles are moving slower or stay off the regular roads altogether. Bikers can stick to bike trails and joggers and walkers may be to make use of school fields and tracks to get their exercise.
Naturally, if you have to walk or bike in a high-traffic and high-speed area to get around, take extra precautions to increase your visibility by wearing bright colors in the daytime and reflective wear at night. Practice "defensive walking" and watch out for car drivers that may not be watching out for you.
Any pedestrian injured in an accident with a car should seek legal advice to discuss the possibility of compensation for his or her injuries. To learn more about how our firm may be able to help, please visit our page.