Summer time is coming, and here in the Pacific Northwest, that means a chance for many residents to get outside and enjoy milder weather after a long winter of being cooped up. Especially in an urban area like Seattle, this involves an increase in the number of people walking the city’s streets, either to get from place to place, or just exercise and feel the sun on their faces. Unfortunately, with more pedestrians comes an increased chance of pedestrian-automobile collisions. These can be some of the most harrowing accidents there because of the serious and sometimes fatal injuries that a pedestrian can suffer in such crashes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 over 4,500 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the country, or one every two hours. Every time a pedestrian takes a trip, he or she is one and a half times more likely to be killed than someone in a car. Further, that same year, more than 150,000 people were treated for injuries related to a pedestrian-vehicle accident. Many times, fatalities in these accidents are the more vulnerable members of the population.
Nineteen percent of pedestrian fatalities in 2013 were individuals over 64 years old. This same demographic accounted for 10 percent of all pedestrian injuries. Further, children under 14 that are killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians one-fifth of the time.
The CDC’s analysis shows that alcohol is involved in almost half of all pedestrian fatalities due to traffic accidents. Thirty-four percent of the time that alcohol was involved, the pedestrian had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit.
As might be assumed, the statistics show that most fatal pedestrian accidents happen in cities at night, in areas where there are no crosswalks. Whatever conditions pertain, pedestrian injured in automobile accidents may encounter serious and debilitating injuries, huge medical and rehabilitative costs and loss of income. Those Seattle residents who find themselves in this situation may want to consider how to protect their legal rights to compensation.