Today’s active lifestyles find more people enjoying the health and social benefits of walking. Also, many school children walk to and from school each day, while the elderly often enjoy the company of friends and neighbors while taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, when pedestrians and motor vehicles collide, the results can be devastating.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 study, 4,884 pedestrians were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. That’s the equivalent of 12 people every day. What’s more, there were 65,000 reported pedestrian injuries during that time, or 1 almost every 8 minutes of the day! Yet, these statistics do not include those pedestrians injured or killed on private property or in parking areas.
While these collisions often occur in rural areas, they also occur in suburban neighborhoods and cities. More than 26% of these crashes occur between the hours of 6 and 8:59 p.m.
Often, these terrible crashes are caused by distracted drivers such as those texting, fatigued or intoxicated drivers, speeding, reckless driving, drivers who are watching other traffic and not paying attention to a pedestrian, such as in a crosswalk, and drivers making turns through crosswalks without observing the pedestrian. Also, illegally parked cars can make it difficult for approaching motorists to see pedestrians.
In Pennsylvania, drivers of motor vehicles are expected to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians walking in marked crosswalks or at intersections. Motorists must not drive on sidewalks or other designated pedestrian safe areas; they must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when exiting driveways or parking lots and they should allow ample time to the elderly and disabled persons to safely cross the street. Even when a pedestrian is walking outside of a crosswalk, the motorist is expected to exercise caution and an awareness of the pedestrian.
Pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injuries since they are not protected by thousands of pounds of steel or air bags like cars offer the occupants. The seriousness of injuries depends on how fast the motor vehicle was traveling, whether the pedestrian is thrown a distance and if the pedestrian strikes certain parts of the vehicle such as a windshield. Leg injuries can range from lacerations and torn cartilage to severe fractures that require surgery and placement of internal hardware to help the bones heal. Pedestrians that are thrown or crash into the windshield of the vehicle can suffer terrible head injuries, internal organ damage and spinal disc injuries.
Not only do the types of injuries caused by pedestrian collisions cause horrible pain and suffering and long-term severe injuries, they also can carry overwhelming medical and rehabilitation expenses, an inability to attend to work, school or family, or death of a beloved family member. These types of injuries also place a heavy burden on the pedestrian’s family.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian collision, it is important to contact an experienced pedestrian collision attorney immediately to ensure that witnesses are identified, physical evidence such as surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses are preserved, and appropriate medical treatment is obtained.
Because extensive medical, surgical and rehabilitation care is often required, and due to the fact that these injuries are life-altering and require long-term care, we will work closely with experts to ensure that you receive all of the compensation that you deserve for these terrible injuries.