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Trends for fatal auto-pedestrian accidents in Washington State

Even if it is only for a short duration, most residents in Seattle are pedestrians at some point during the day. This includes motorists who become pedestrians momentarily while they travel to and from their parked vehicles. While traveling by foot is a healthy and eco-friendly way to get around, pedestrians frequently walk in areas where there is frequent automobile traffic. This presents many dangers to pedestrians, resulting in the possibility of serious and even fatal auto-pedestrian accidents.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission assessed the pedestrian fatalities occurring between 2008 and 2012 in order to determine the factors that lead to such collisions. During this timeframe, 332 pedestrian fatalities were recorded in the state, which accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities occurring during this time.

Males were more likely to be victims of a fatal pedestrian crash, accounting for 66.3 percent of pedestrian deaths documented in this timeframe. When considering the age group that was at the greatest risk of being involved in a fatal pedestrian accident, those most affected in the state were between the ages of 45 and 65. With regards to timing, fatal pedestrian crashes were more likely to occur between October and March and during dark hours.

Roughly two-thirds of all pedestrians killed in the state were fatally struck on an urban road. Moreover, 45 percent were killed from crashes occurring on roads with speed limits between 35 and 50 mph while 30 percent occurred on roads with posted speed limits between 15 and 30 mph.

When considering driver error and how it factors into fatal pedestrian accidents in the state of Washington, distractions occurred in 19.8 percent while impairment occurred in 13.5 percent. The failure to yield happened in 12.6 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents.

A pedestrian crash is often more serious than other motor vehicle crashes because people do not have the safety features or protection offered by most vehicles. Following a fatal pedestrian accident, surviving family members should understand that there may be recourses available to them. A wrongful death claim could help them pursue compensation if a negligent party caused the fatal crash. This could help address any losses or damages incurred from the incident.

Source: Wrsc.wa.gov, "Factors in Washington Pedestrian Fatalities, 2008-2012," accessed June 6, 2016

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