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How to Avoid a Pedestrian Accident: Top 9 Risk Factors

risk factors in pedestrian accidentsAlthough traffic deaths fell 18% between 2006 and 2015, the number of pedestrians killed during that period rose 12%. Pedestrians being killed by cars is becoming a serious public concern. In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in car crashes. That’s 15 people every single day of the year.

Plus, the number of pedestrians injured hit 66,000 in 2013, the last year for which statistics are available.

But forewarned is forearmed. It helps to know the top risk factors for pedestrians, so you can be safer and urge others to increase their awareness. Here are the top 9 risk factors.

Pedestrian risk factor #1: Age

Middle-aged pedestrians are at highest risk for being killed in a collision with a car. The average age of pedestrians killed is 47.

Pedestrian risk factor #2: Environment

Of total pedestrians killed, 24% tripped on a cracked or broken sidewalk. An additional 17% tripped and fell on a sidewalk. Avoid sidewalks in obvious disrepair and exercise great care while walking on all surfaces.

Pedestrian risk factor #3: Time of Day

Without a doubt, certain times of day are more dangerous. More pedestrian fatalities happen between the hours between 6 p.m. and 8:49 p.m., no matter the season. Throughout large parts of the year, it is darker outside then, but people are still actively walking. Seventy-two percent of accidents causing pedestrian deaths occur in the dark.

Pedestrian risk factor #4: Day of Week

More pedestrian fatalities — from 3% to 9% — occur on the weekends than on the weekdays.

Pedestrian risk factor #5: Gender

Roughly 70% of pedestrians killed are men.

Pedestrian risk factor #6: Alcohol

Alcohol plays a large role in car accident-related pedestrian deaths. Thirty-four percent of pedestrians killed by a car crash had a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.08. Fourteen percent of the drivers did. In other words, excessive alcohol consumption was involved in nearly half of accident-related pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrian risk factor #7: Impact Point

Twenty percent of pedestrians killed in a car accident were killed by a hit-and-run driver. The most common impact point for all pedestrian deaths from car crashes was the front of the vehicle.

Pedestrian risk factor #8: State

Unfortunately, our state of California leads the nation in pedestrian deaths from car crashes, with 701 per year. Florida, with 501 deaths per year, is second. Texas, with 480 annually, is third. By contrast, Washington, D.C. has just 20 car-accident related pedestrian deaths annually.

Pedestrian risk factor #9: City

The largest number of pedestrian deaths from car crashes, 73%, happen in urban areas.

Pedestrians should make sure they are visible

In addition to the factors mentioned above, pedestrians should ensure that they are always visible. Wear bright and light colors and reflective strips so cars can see you. Carry a flashlight. Walk in well-lit areas only. Do not walk where obstacles, trees, or plants may make it difficult to see you.

Contact a pedestrian accident attorney

Ellis Law Firm aggressively represents victims of car accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed as a result of injuries caused by a car or other type of accident, please contact us today at 1-800-INJURED. We have two decades of experience in California law.

Our consultation is free. A Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer will perform a thorough case review and advise you of your rights.

Additional pedestrian accident resources:

  1. NHTSA. Traffic Safety Facts. 2013 Data. February 2015. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812124
  2. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Fact Sheets. http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm
  3. Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Safety Tips for Pedestrians. http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/community/tips_pedestrian.cfm