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What are risk factors for pedestrian accidents?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2021 | Car Accidents

Motorists should be aware of you when you walk across the street. Unfortunately, some drivers are negligent. They do not pay adequate attention to pedestrians or bicycle riders who cross their path. As a result, an innocent person may pay a devastating price. You may wonder what factors contribute to these tragic accidents.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on what makes a pedestrian accident more likely to occur. Some reasons have to do with driver behavior. However, there are also steps you can take to reduce your risk of injury or death while crossing a street.

Pedestrian factors

Depending on your age, you may be more likely to suffer a pedestrian accident. The CDC explains that a study conducted for pedestrian injuries in 2017 found that pedestrians that were 65 or older made up 20% of deaths. That same year, one in five children below 15 years old died in a traffic accident. If you know you might have problems crossing a busy street due to age or infirmity, you may have to ask someone to help you.

Speeding drivers

Driving faster than the speed limit increases the risks of auto accidents and it can do the same for pedestrian injuries and deaths. The CDC explains that a driver who operates a vehicle at excessive speeds runs a higher risk of hitting a pedestrian. Additionally, the greater speed boosts the odds that the pedestrian will suffer a severe injury and possibly death.

Alcohol as a factor

It may come as no surprise that drunk drivers can raise the risks of a pedestrian accident. In fact, the 2017 study found that 17% of pedestrian fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration reaching at least 0.08. However, alcohol is also a danger if a pedestrian has ingested too much before walking across a street. In fact, 33% of pedestrian accidents have involved a pedestrian with a 0.08 BAC level.

Where you walk

You can also increase your risk of injury by where you walk. Many pedestrian fatalities happen in cities or at places that are not intersections. This makes sense since urban areas have more traffic and non-intersections tend not to have crosswalks. Additionally, the CDC found that night hours can also increase crash risks. You may have to pick safer locations to walk across and at daytime hours in order to decrease your risk.