When you’re a pedestrian, you should be aware that walking near roads and across intersections puts you at risk of being in an accident. If you’re hit, there’s a risk you could suffer serious injuries or be killed. While you can always seek compensation when a negligent driver hits you, it’s important to know the risks you face when you’re around local traffic. What’s the likelihood you’ll be injured in a crash?
San Francisco remains a dangerous place to be a pedestrian. The Vision Zero program, designed to stop all traffic deaths, is far from complete. There have already been 7 pedestrian deaths in the city this year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Understanding these and other pedestrian accidents is the key to eliminating them.
According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, as the speed of a vehicle increases, the risk that a pedestrian will suffer a fatal blow increases. For instance, if a person is struck by a vehicle driving at 31 mph, then the risk of severe injury has been recorded as 50 percent. However, the risk of death at around that speed at 32 mph is 25 percent.
If you’ve been hit before or know someone who has been hit, the speed at which the vehicle was traveling has the most significance in determining how severe the injuries suffered will be. Lower speeds clearly put a pedestrian at a lower risk.
For instance, when a person is hit by a vehicle traveling at 16 mph, the risk of injury is only 10 percent. That means that most people will be able to walk away from the collision or at least suffer only minor injuries. The risk of death, however, is still present once the impact speed reaches 23 mph. At 23 mph, the risk of death is 10 percent.
At higher speeds, it’s more likely that an impact will be fatal. There are a few reasons for that. First, a pedestrian struck at a high speed is more likely to be thrown over the vehicle or crushed under it, leading to multiple impacts. At 58 mph, for instance, 90 percent of those hit by a car or truck will be killed. In contrast, at 46 mph, around 50 to 75 percent of those hit will be killed and about 90 percent will face severe injuries. As speeds get higher, the force of impact increases. Without any protections against the impact, pedestrians are increasingly at risk for a deadly impact.