Statistics: Pedestrian vs Automobile Accidents

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March 01, 2019
Edward Smith

Statistics: Pedestrian vs Automobile Accidents

Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have demonstrated that pedestrian safety is a serious issue. Everyone is taught to look both ways before they cross the street, however, the responsibility for pedestrian safety also falls on the drivers of motor vehicles. Pedestrians are in a particularly vulnerable position. Therefore, it is important for every driver to keep his or her eyes open for pedestrians who might be crossing the street. Furthermore, there could be children on the street who might not recognize just how dangerous cars can be. According to the statistics published by the CDC:

  • In 2015, more than 5,300 pedestrians were killed in road traffic accidents across the country.
  • These numbers equate to a pedestrian fatality about every one to two hours.
  • In addition to these fatalities, more than 125,000 pedestrians were also treated in a hospital setting for serious injuries related to road traffic accidents.
  • Pedestrians are about 50 percent more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than occupants of a passenger vehicle.
  • About 20 percent of children who die in road traffic accidents annually are pedestrians.
  • Close to 50 percent of these accidents involved alcohol.

These numbers demonstrate that it is essential for pedestrians and drivers to be on the lookout for each other. Another study echoed the importance of pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian Injuries: A Study

The study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons examined the frequency and severity of injuries suffered by pedestrians. Because pedestrians have no barrier between them and the pavement, the morbidity and mortality associated with their injuries are high. There have been multiple studies published looking at the parameters of pedestrian injuries seen by different hospitals. On the other hand, this specific study sought to compile all of the individual data points to come up with a large, comprehensive database. The goal of this study was to profile pedestrian versus auto accidents in a comprehensive trauma system.

The Design of the Study

In the study, a team of professional researchers compiled data from across multiple hospital systems to look for trends. Overall, the researchers analyzed more than 5,000 pedestrian injuries. All of these pedestrians were struck by a motor vehicle. The researchers looked at the data that had been compiled throughout three years and separated the injuries into three age categories. These included:

  • Children under the age of fifteen.
  • Adults between the ages of 15 and 65.
  • Elderly individuals who were over the age of 65.

The researchers analyzed the injuries using multiple parameters. Some of the metrics that they used include:

  • The death rate termed mortality.
  • Length of time spent in a hospital setting.
  • Whether or not the individual needed to be transported to the intensive care unit (ICU).
  • The severity of the injuries overall, graded using an objective metric.
  • Glasgow Come Scale score, which is used to quantify the level of consciousness (ranging from 3 to 15).
  • The financial status of the individual.
  • The level of disability that the individual suffered.

Once the researchers compiled all of these data points, they ran statistical analyses to look for trends. The goal of the study was to identify particularly vulnerable populations to try and prevent these accidents from happening in the future. Furthermore, the researchers looked for ways to predict what type of injuries the individuals can sustain. Through this predictive tool, hospitals can be more prepared for individuals who are transported to their hospital following an auto vs. pedestrian accident.

The Results of the Study

After running detailed statistical calculations on the data, there were a number of trends that the researchers identified. Some of the essential results from the study included:

  • Close to 40 percent of the pedestrians who suffered injuries were children.
  • Adults made up about half of the population, with the elderly making up the remaining 10 percent.
  • The mortality rate was highest for the elderly population, more than three times the rate of adults and close to 9 times the mortality rate of children.
  • Children had the lowest overall injury severity score and had the highest Glasgow Coma Scale score, meaning they were often brought to the hospital in good health.
  • Accordingly, the average hospital stay was the shortest among children.

Even though it looks like children suffered minor injuries, it is important to remember that parents often bring their children to the hospital for precautionary reasons. Many children suffer serious injuries and death every year as a result of pedestrian accidents. The researchers also drew some conclusions about the types of injuries that the individuals were suffering. Some of these include:

  • Injuries to the arms and legs made up about a third of all injuries presenting to the hospital.
  • Traumatic brain injuries and neck injuries also made up about a third of injuries.
  • Other injuries included spinal cord injuries, abdominal trauma, pelvic injuries, and chest trauma.

Overall, about 10 percent of individuals presenting to the hospital following a pedestrian versus auto accident required a surgical procedure. The most common procedures performed were those to set broken bones, making up two-thirds of all surgeries completed.

Study Results on Discharge from the Hospital or Emergency Room

The study concluded with important stats on the individuals’ health after discharge. They include:

  • More than three-quarters of individuals still had some residual symptoms upon discharge from the hospital.
  • Just over 15 percent of individuals were at their baseline state of health.

These numbers show that many people have to live the rest of their life with some sort of disability following an auto versus pedestrian accident. This can create a significant burden on their family members and friends. Furthermore, many of these individuals will require medical treatment for the rest of their life.

Treatment Options Following an Auto vs. Pedestrian Accident

Those who suffer a serious injury in a pedestrian accident need to seek treatment as quickly as possible. The treatment should be a well-rounded approach. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Meeting with their primary care provider regularly to make sure that their pain is well-controlled.
  • Working with a physical therapist to try to regain their baseline level of functioning.
  • Seeking help from an occupational therapist to try to return to school or work.

Watch YouTube Video: Getting There Safely – Pedestrian Safety. This video created by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration focuses on pedestrian safety.

Contacting an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter how much pedestrian and vehicle safety is stressed, accidents can always happen. Under these circumstances, it is important to make sure that all of the details are known. Anyone who has had a loved one involved in a road traffic accident should meet with a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Some of the ways that an injury lawyer can help include:

  • Helping individuals and their loved ones pursue damages related to their pedestrian injuries, emotional distress, and physical pain.
  • Reviewing the circumstances of the accident to ensure that all details are considered appropriately.
  • Ensuring that the fault in the crash has been assigned to the appropriate party.
  • Serving as a calm and objective presence to help make difficult decisions during a stressful time.
  • Moving a case to trial when this is required.

Meet with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento today. You and your family members may be deserving of a financial settlement.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Pedestrians are vulnerable to suffering serious injuries if struck by a motor vehicle. If someone you care about has suffered a severe injury in a pedestrian versus auto accident, call me today at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Statistics: Pedestrian vs Automobile Accidents:

Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this page is seen in its original form on Pixabay. The picture has been printed here with permission/ Statistics: Pedestrian vs Automobile Accidents.

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