Pedestrians are in danger whenever they must share space with motor vehicles. Areas where jogging paths cross streets and parking lots often experience a significant number of pedestrian-car collisions. Such crashes frequently result in minimal cosmetic damage to the vehicle involved but severe injuries to the pedestrian.
There are a few trends that become apparent when looking at a broad overview of pedestrian crash statistics. The three statistics below might help someone who frequently walks on or near roads better safeguard their own wellbeing.
1. Pedestrian crashes are far too common
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020 saw an alarming number of pedestrian deaths. More than 7,000 people lost their lives due to a pedestrian collision. That means that one-sixth of all traffic deaths in 2020 were pedestrians. There are approximately four pedestrian deaths every five hours based on 2020 data.
2. Alcohol is a top contributing concern
Walking home from a party is definitely smarter than driving home after drinking too much. Unfortunately, alcohol in someone’s bloodstream is a contributing factor in roughly 32% of pedestrian crashes according to the CDC. Another 13% were the result of a driver with too much alcohol in their bloodstream.
3. Vehicle speed affects crash outcomes
The single most important contributing factor to the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries will be the speed of the vehicle that strikes them. Pedestrians will be much safer in areas with residential speed limits or commercial speed limits than in rural areas where speed limits are higher.
Once the flow of traffic moves at over 45 miles per hour (mph), the risk of severe injury is quite extreme at 90%. A full 50% of pedestrian crashes will result in death when the vehicle’s speed is 42 mph.
Avoiding paths that cross high-speed roads, being aware of when there may be an elevated number of intoxicated drivers on the road and watching for safety risks at all times is necessary to keep pedestrians as safe as possible. Learning more about what causes and worsens many pedestrian crashes can help those who are concerned about becoming a member of truly concerning statistics.