Pedestrians are not just people walking dogs on the side of the street. They are athletes training for a race, children walking to a friend’s house, a family catching the bus to a sports game, vacationers walking to the beach, and anyone else walking on or near the road. One thing we all have in common is that at one point or another we are all pedestrians.
As dangerous as a car accident can be for the people inside the vehicle, if a pedestrian is involved, the potential for serious injury and mortality is multiplied. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in an accident than someone inside a motor vehicle. In 2013, one pedestrian was killed in a traffic crash every 2 hours. While many serious injuries can occur in an accident, brain injuries are the leading cause of death in pedestrian accidents.
The odds of sustaining a brain injury in pedestrian crashes are so high because of the mechanics of the accident, which typically pushes the upper body toward the vehicle. Remember, a person in a vehicle has roughly two tons of armor to protect them. A pedestrian has none.
Any impact on the brain can cause a concussion, brain swelling, internal bleeding, Diffuse Axonal Injury, skull fractures, and other serious bodily injuries which can lead to permanent mental impairments in memory storage and retrieval, physical abilities, understanding, word finding, and visual perception.
People with the highest risk of injury in pedestrian accidents are elderly adults, young children and people impaired by drugs or alcohol. They are less able to respond to their surroundings with quick and decisive movements and, in the case of older and younger people, their brains are less capable of recovering from the injuries. In children and young adults, their brains are still learning and any brain injury can stunt new development. Meanwhile, a seemingly minor injury to a healthy adult could be devastating to an elderly person.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
49% of all pedestrian fatalities were caused by an impaired driver. The strong majority of deaths occur in rural areas on cloudy nights, in short, when drivers can’t see well and may not be paying as much attention to detail. In more urban areas, pedestrian accidents happen when a driver turns into a driveway and hits a pedestrian on the sidewalk. We have also helped people who were struck by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk.
The impact of a vehicle moving at even moderate speeds can be devastating. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle moving at 30 mph, 45% resulted in death nationwide. When the speed rose to 40 mph, 85% were killed.
Regardless of the specific facts, the main cause is usually the driver’s failure to pay attention.
Florida roads are some of the most dangerous for pedestrians because of the heavy traffic year round. We constantly have tourists who are unfamiliar with the roads, people are outdoors year round because of the warm weather, and a large population of new drivers and elderly drivers.
If you or a loved one has suffered brain damage, devastating injury or death as a result of someone’s carelessness on the road, we are here for you. We have a special commitment and passion for holding drivers responsible for pedestrian injuries.
We’ve written The Layman’s Guide to Brain Injuries and The Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide to help you understand what to expect moving forward with your recovery and your legal claim. Download these guides and give us a call.
We are only a phone call away.