Motor Vehicle Versus Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise
Whether you are a runner, or merely enjoying a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, the most recent statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show you are at greater risk of injury or death than you were two decades ago.
According to data compiled by the Federal government in 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents in 2016, an increase of 9% since 1990.
The numbers provided did not include injury or death occurring on private property such as parking lots or driveways. The actual number of injuries and deaths is much greater when considering these incidents on private property which are more difficult for the government to track.
Notwithstanding public and private efforts to discourage driving while impaired, or while distracted, recent statistics show that alcohol and distracted driving (including cell phone usage) continue to be large contributors to motor vehicle collisions in general. Data compiled by the State of Arizona show the number of accidents involving alcohol and distracted driving make up nearly 30% of all accidents on Arizona roadways.
As one might expect, most pedestrian versus motor vehicle collisions occur during dark hours, and in urban areas. However, contrary to what many believe, the vast majority of pedestrian accidents do not occur at busy intersections. Rather, 72% of pedestrian versus motor vehicle collisions occur in places other than intersections.
What can you do to protect yourself?
So what can you do to protect yourself? Most importantly, always stay on the sidewalk or path where available. If you are forced to walk in the roadway because no sidewalk is available, stay alert. Do not use your cell phone, or wear headphones. Consider where you, as a driver, would expect pedestrians, and try to stay in those areas (such as a crosswalk or intersection). If walking or running at night, or early morning hours, wear light reflective clothing or use a flashlight and stay in well-lit areas if possible. Also, avoid walking on the roadway at all when you yourself have been drinking as your judgment and coordination will be impaired as well.
You may be surprised to learn that certain insurance coverages may apply to an accident even if you are not operating a motor vehicle, or on your own property. If you or a loved one are injured as a result of a pedestrian versus motor vehicle collision, contact Wattel & York for a free consultation. We will investigate all potential coverages that might apply to assist you in obtaining recovery for your injuries and other damages.