Disabled Woman in Wheelchair Killed by Hit and Run Driver in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Sacramento. A disabled woman in a wheelchair died May 24 in Sacramento after being struck by a hit and run driver. According to Sacramento police, the woman died instantly. Neither a description of the vehicle that struck the woman nor the name of the driver has been released by the police as of yet.
I want to offer my sympathy and prayers to the family and friends of the decedent for their tragic loss.
The accident happened around 3:00 in the morning along Stockton Boulevard near Fruitridge Road. According to investigators, the woman who used a wheelchair died on impact, and they said she was probably not at a designated crosswalk when the accident happened. The identity of the woman has not been released. Because of the crash, Stockton Boulevard was closed for some time while an investigation was conducted.
Wheelchair Users at Greatest Risk in Intersections
The risk of being killed in a collision with a motor vehicle is highest if you are using a wheelchair for transportation. Compared to pedestrian deaths at crossroads, those in wheelchairs are three times as likely to be killed. For every 100,000 pedestrians involved in an accident, 1.5 die. Compare this to 2/100,000 for wheelchair users. Men have a slightly higher incidence of fatal crashes. This correlates with the higher number of injuries and fatalities involving males in other types of accidents.
Data on the number of wheelchair users who are injured or killed is meager. For this reason, scientists at Georgetown University compiled statistics for the years 2006 through 2012. During this period, 258 people in wheelchairs died in motor vehicle accidents. The results showed the highest number of wheelchair users who were killed were men age 50 to 64. Further, 50 percent of all fatal crashes occurred at crossroads where the intersection was not traffic controlled. Without proper crossing infrastructure, the disabled often need to cross outside of crosswalks.
Cars May Not Stop for Those in Wheelchairs
Motorists often do not yield the right of way to wheelchair users. In part, this may be because the disabled person is not clearly visible in about 15 percent of cases. Police records show that in 75 percent of all accidents involving wheelchairs, the motorist does not attempt to stop.
It is vital that cities take responsibility for adding accommodations that help the disabled get around when designing pedestrian infrastructure. This includes ramps and curb cuts as well as crosswalks.
Elements Associated With Wheelchair Accidents
Two of the largest problems wheelchair users face are visibility and speed. Wheelchairs place the user in a position where height is reduced, rendering them less visible. Generally, wheelchair deaths happen most often on arterial intersections. These urban roadways allow traffic to move at the highest speed that is possible, preventing urban transit time slowdowns. To accomplish this, the number of intersections are also reduced.
Speed is a factor for both the pedestrian and the motorist. For instance, someone in a wheelchair or a pedestrian takes from 1.2 meters/second to 1.6 m/s to cross a signalized intersection. This is called the crossing speed and is faster than that used in normal walking. It is also faster in marked as opposed to unmarked crosswalks. Overall, females cross slightly slower than males, and both males and females traverse the intersection quicker in summer than winter. Older pedestrians and wheelchair users cross at a reduced speed. Calculating the speed used by pedestrians in crosswalks and accommodating motor vehicle traffic is an essential component of roadway safety.
Motor Vehicle Speed and Pedestrian Injuries
The higher the speed of a motor vehicle when striking a pedestrian, the greater the likelihood of serious injury. For instance, at 17 mph, the chance of injury is 10 percent. At 25 mph, it rises to 50 percent, and at 41 mph, injuries reach a probability of 75 percent. By the time a vehicle is traveling at 45 mph, approximately 90 percent of pedestrians will be severely injured or killed.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Sacramento. If a pedestrian accident has caused you harm or a family member was killed, you will need an experienced legal advocate at your side. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, compassionate and free advice.
I’ve helped numerous Sacramento residents with pedestrian accidents and wrongful death claims.
You may want to learn about my practice. Just click on the following page links:
I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/motorized-wheelchair-wheelchair-952190/
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