Choosing to walk to your destinations rather than take a car is a great idea for many reasons. Not only is walking great for your physical health, it is also much better for the environment than vehicles. If you live in an urban area walking makes a great deal of sense! Most locations are within a feasible walking distance and you won’t have the added pressure if finding a parking spot. Choosing to be a pedestrian rather than a driver has many benefits!
While a lot of good comes from choosing to walk, there are also some serious risks that go along with being a pedestrian, especially in high-traffic areas. Understanding the great amount of risk that walking poses and weighing it with the rewards gained by walking can help you decide if the pedestrian life is for you!
Pedestrian accidents are very common
According to the CDC, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the year 2013 alone. That means that being a pedestrian is more dangerous than flying, swimming with sharks, and skydiving combined!
Age plays a factor
Your chance of being injured, or worse, in a pedestrian accident increases if you are over 65 years old or under the age of 14. In fact, these age groups account for about 36% of all pedestrian fatalities.
Alcohol increases chance of accidents
Alcohol is a big factor in accidents of all kinds. However, in pedestrian accidents, alcohol plays a role around 49% of the time. This statistic includes intoxication of either the driver, pedestrian, or both parties.
Location, location, location
There are certain areas where you are more likely to be struck by a car as a pedestrian. If you are crossing the road in an undesignated area (J-Walking), trying to outrun the safety crossing sign at an intersection, or walking in a very high-traffic area after dark you greatly increase your likelihood of being struck by a vehicle.
Blame may be shared
Sometimes, the blame for pedestrian accidents can be shared between both parties. For example, if a pedestrian is crossing at an unmarked location but the driver was speeding, under the influence, or driving recklessly it will take some time to determine where the fault lies for the accident.
Perpetrators may flee the scene
Hit and runs have been on the rise in recent years. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit and runs on pedestrians claim the lives of about 1,500 people annually. These tragedies leave families with a lot of questions and anger. Without sufficient evidence and leads many of these hit and run cases remaining unsolved.
You may be very surprised to learn these pedestrian facts. Use this new information to empower yourself to walk the streets more safely and reduce your risk of injury. By being a smart and alert pedestrian you are protecting yourself from becoming a part of the pedestrian accident statistics. Always remember that as a pedestrian you have just as many rights as a driver on the road. Choosing to walk rather than drive is a terrific choice as long as you walk safely!
Bart Costello is the founder of Injury Law. Bart is passionate about helping people. He has built a strong reputation over the last thirty years as one of the premier Boulder personal injury attorneys.