Now that summer is here, drivers in Connecticut may notice more people walking than during the colder winter months. However, being a pedestrian is not always safe. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents across the nation. A year earlier, nearly 129,000 pedestrians received treatment at a hospital for non-fatal injuries suffered in auto-pedestrian accidents. These statistics highlight just how serious the issue of pedestrian accidents is in the U.S.
Certain factors make some people more at risk for suffering a pedestrian accident. One is age. In 2016, 20% of pedestrian fatalities were among those age 65 and up. In addition, in 2016, one-fifth of those under age 15 who lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident were pedestrians.
Alcohol use is another factor that makes pedestrians more at risk. The CDC reports that 48% of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving a pedestrian involved alcohol use, either on the part of the motorist or on the part of the pedestrian.
Another risk factor is speed. The faster the motorist is driving, the more likely it is that an auto-pedestrian accident will occur, and the more severe the injuries will be. In addition, fatal pedestrian accidents were more likely to take place at night, in urban areas and in areas other than intersections.
All motorists must take care to drive safely. This means to be aware of pedestrians all year long. Summer may mean more people take to the streets, making pedestrian awareness important. If a motorist breaches their duty of care and strikes a pedestrian and the collision causes the pedestrian to suffer injuries, that pedestrian may want to determine if they have grounds for pursuing a personal injury claim.