Pedestrians can lose their lives when they’re struck by vehicles. The truth of the matter is just that a vehicle is very large and heavy, and a person’s body has no significant protection against an impact. Someone who is hit at 35, 40 or even 55 mph could be badly hurt or killed as a result of the collision.
Crashes that take place at higher speeds do increase the likelihood of a pedestrian being severely injured or killed. That’s why areas where pedestrians are likely to be traveling often have low speed limits, stoplights and walkways designed for pedestrians. The goal is to reduce vehicular speeds while minimizing the risk of pedestrians and drivers coming into contact at the same time.
It’s worth stating that around 47% of all crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol, either because the pedestrian or driver was intoxicated. One in three fatal crashes involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration over the .08% limit. Around 17% of crashes involved drivers who were over the legal limit. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in collisions in the U.S.
What should drivers do to minimize the risk of pedestrian collisions?
To minimize the risk to pedestrians, drivers need to:
- Avoid drinking and driving
- Slow down where pedestrians may be present, like around schools or when approaching intersections
- Stay focused on the road
- Wait until pedestrians have left the crosswalk before continuing
The risk of death or serious injury in a crash is high for pedestrians, but both drivers and pedestrians can help minimize the chances of a crash happening. Be cautious when you’re walking, pay attention and be aware of your surroundings to stay safe. If you are involved in a crash, make sure that you find out how you can recover for your injuries and losses.