On average, a pedestrian is killed in an accident every 88 minutes in the United States. About twenty times as many pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal injuries each year. How can you stay safe while walking? Be aware of your surroundings, know the most common types of injuries and understand why they happen.
Let’s look at the most common types of pedestrian accident injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Sometimes an outside force, like a violent blow to the head or body, causes brain dysfunction. Some TBIs are minor, but others can have serious medical consequences.
- Spinal cord injuries: Often caused by a sudden, traumatic blow, spinal cord injuries fracture or dislocate vertebrae. This can have life-changing results because the spinal cord transmits signals between the brain and the body.
- Fractures and broken bones: Bone fractures and breaks are treatable but may require intensive medical treatment. They can cause lifelong pain and medical problems.
- Soft tissue injuries: This category covers a variety of injuries, including bruises, lacerations, tears, dislocations, and sprains. Some of these injuries are self-resolving but can still cause intense pain, disrupt lives, and leave scars.
- Amputations: Sometimes, pedestrian accidents can involve the accidental amputation of limbs and extremities.
- Injured extremities: Pedestrians hit by a vehicle can suffer scrapes, broken bones, or even the loss of an extremity.
- Emotional trauma: Beyond physical injuries, a person struck by a vehicle can experience lasting emotional distress.
- Death: Because of the sheer size of a vehicle and the vulnerability of pedestrians, there’s a high risk of death from this type of accident.
How do these accidents occur? Many risk factors come into play when pedestrians and vehicles are involved. Older people and children make up twenty percent of pedestrian deaths each year. Accidents in which the driver or the pedestrian are under the influence of alcohol account for nearly half of the crashes that result in pedestrian death. Other risk factors include reduced visibility and vehicles traveling at high speeds. Accidents commonly happen when drivers lose control, when a vehicle fails to give a pedestrian right-of-way, or backs over a pedestrian in a parking lot.
You can protect yourself as a pedestrian by taking precautions like crossing at crosswalks and walking on sidewalks. Avoid wearing earbuds, and don’t walk if you’re under the influence of alcohol. Improve your visibility at night by wearing reflective clothes and carrying a flashlight.
If you are in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention, record information about your accident, and retain legal counsel as soon as possible. At Taps and Associates, we provide personal attention to every case we handle, giving professional advice based on extensive experience. We believe that the biggest reward for us as attorneys is helping our clients and protecting them from those who would take advantage of them. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney you can trust, contact us through our website, or call 404-492-8746.