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Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Every day, automobile accidents cause the severe injury or death of hundreds of pedestrians walking on sidewalks, crossing the intersection in marked crosswalks, or sharing the road's shoulder. National Safety Council statistics reveal that approximately 6000 pedestrians died in auto-related crashes in 2017.

Were you severely injured in a pedestrian accident, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help to ensure you receive the financial compensation your family deserves.

Contact our pedestrian accident injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

Statistics show that the number of pedestrians killed remains about 85 on average in America when victims are struck by a motor vehicle sharing the road, traveling through an intersection, or jumping a sidewalk. 

Between 2008 and 2017, the number of miles traveled by the average passenger vehicles in commercial trucks increased by 8.1%. During that same time, pedestrian deaths increased by 35.4%, and traffic deaths involving passenger vehicle occupants decreased by 6.1%.

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Nationwide Pedestrian Accident Statistics and Facts

For statistical purposes, men, women, and children qualifying as pedestrians include people changing tires, traveling on foot, jogging, running, cleaning their windshield, pushing a stroller/wheelchair, riding a wheelchair/scooter, roller skating, and skateboarding. Typically, a pedestrian accident involves an injured victim outside of a motor vehicle when the crash occurred.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the rates of pedestrian deaths are significantly higher in urban areas. However, the number of accident-related pedestrian fatalities is significantly higher in rural areas due to higher impact speeds and less traffic control on rural roads. 

Other national pedestrian accident statistics and facts include:

  • Approximately 11% of all accidents involving pedestrians result in fatalities
  • Between 1975 and 2005, more than 180,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes
  • While vehicle occupant deaths rank first and all motor vehicle fatalities, pedestrian deaths rank second every year
  • Pedestrian accident statistics reveal that approximately one pedestrian is injured in vehicle crashes every eight minutes on average
  • A fatal pedestrian crashes occur about once every 111 minutes on average in the United States
  • While in 2006, the per capita pedestrian deaths rate was a staggering 1.6 per 100,000 population, that number had jumped to 1.9 per 100 population in 2019
  • Approximately 66% of all pedestrian deaths happen on urban roads
  • Statistics show that on average, approximately 73% of all pedestrian fatalities happen in urban areas
  • More than 40% of all pedestrian deaths in 2014 happened on roadways without marked crosswalks at intersections and cross streets
  • In 2016, nearly 66% of all accidents involving pedestrians happened in non-intersections
  • In 2017, 71% of all fatalities involving pedestrians happened on freeways, interstates, and other major roads
  • In 2017, males accounted for approximately 70% of all pedestrian fatalities in varying age groups
  • In 2015, the pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population for men and boys was over 2.25, and the comparative rate for females in every age group was 1.01 per 100,000 population
  • Pedestrian accident statistics reveal that approximately 50% of all pedestrian fatalities happen on Fridays (17%), Saturdays (18%), and Sundays (14%)
  • About 25% of all pedestrian fatalities happen between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM, and another 21% happen from 9:00 PM to midnight, primarily on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  • Statistics show that based on population, children 15 years and younger are more likely to be hit by a passenger car than any other ages
  • Approximately one in five of all pedestrian fatalities victims are children 15 years old and younger
  • Approximately 25% of all traffic pedestrian fatalities involve pedestrian children between 5 and 9 years old
  • While the number of elderly pedestrians compared to children are less likely to be struck by a car, they are more likely to die from the crash
  • The rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population is near twice the rate as people 70 years and older
  • Over one-third of all pedestrian fatalities involving adults 70 years and older happen at intersections, which is significantly higher than the remaining population at 21%

United States Governors Highway Safety Association Statistics

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a preliminary 2020 report detailing pedestrian deaths occurring in 2019. Comparatively, the rate of pedestrian fatalities in the United States decreased approximately 1% since the previous year and stayed on pace in the first six months of 2020. 

Other pedestrian accident statistics by the GHSA include:

  • The GHSA projected nearly 3000 pedestrian fatalities in the United States during the first six months of 2020, with the likely projected 6590 pedestrian traffic deaths for the entire year
  • The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.9 per 100,000 population for the entire 2020 year
  • According to statistics, there were 6301 pedestrian fatalities throughout the United States and 30,107 non-fatal pedestrian accidents in 2019
  • In 2019, the number of pedestrian traffic deaths increased in 27 states and decreased in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Only three states showed no change in the number of pedestrian traffic fatalities
  • The estimated project for 2020 indicates that there will likely be one pedestrian-related death in Vermont and nearly 500 pedestrian traffic fatalities in California
  • Approximately 54% of all pedestrian fatalities occur in 7 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.
  • Specific crash factors cause most traffic fatalities involving pedestrians in the U.S., including population, race, glare/light condition, automobile type, alcohol impairment, and roadway location
  • According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 25% of all pedestrian deaths happen in intersections
  • Driving drunk accounted for half of all pedestrian deaths in 2019 where it was determined the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
  • Nearly 32% of all fatally injured pedestrians 16 years and older had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test result of 0.08% or higher (.08 g/dL)

Fatally Injured Pedestrian Crashes by Age Group

In 2019, pedestrian accident statistics reveal that adults 55 to 64 years old had the highest number of pedestrian-related accidents with a known blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. 

Passenger vehicles accounted for most pedestrian traffic deaths in 2019, approximately 40% of the total fatalities. Other pedestrian accident statistics by age group in 2019 include:

  • 55 to 65-year-olds - 423 fatal pedestrian accidents
  • 45 to 54-year-olds - 397 pedestrian crash deaths
  • 25 to 34-year-olds - 382 pedestrian-related fatalities
  • 35 to 44-year-olds - 359 pedestrian deaths
  • 65 to 70-year-olds - 143 pedestrian fatalities
  • 21 to 24-year-olds - 125 fatal pedestrian crashes
  • 75+-year-olds - 60 pedestrian deaths
  • Under 21 years old - 42 fatal pedestrian crashes

The most significant number of pedestrian deaths by vehicle type in 2019 included passenger cars (2149), SUVs (1071), pickups (929), vans, 280), large trucks (354), buses (54), and other/unknown vehicles (569).

The number of pedestrian deaths caused by a single-vehicle crash has risen significantly over the last decade. The number of pedestrian-related fatalities totaled 1470 by passenger automobiles and 635 by SUVs. By 2019, that number had risen to 2149 deaths by passenger cars and 1071 by SUVs.

Traffic Crashes

National statistics show that pedestrian traffic crashes involving being struck by a motor vehicle remain the second leading cause of death in America for children 5 to 14 years old. 

Teenage pedestrians between 15 and 19 years old are most at risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident, especially those living in urban areas on dense city streets. Other pedestrian accident statistics include:

  • Over the last decade, more than 100 pedestrians were struck by passenger cars, SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks while wearing earbuds or headphones 
  • Statistics show that approximately 33% of the injured or killed pedestrians wearing headphones were 17 years old and younger
  • In 2017, approximately 5% of all pedestrian fatalities involved the under 15 years old age group
  • Statistics show that approximately 61 of the 85 pedestrians killed every day on average on American roads are children
  • Nearly 39% of all young pedestrians die from being hit in cross streets, and over 56% are killed on sidewalks, road shoulders, roads, and other areas surrounding the road
  • African-Americans have a significantly higher injury and death rate of 2.39 per 100,000 population, or nearly double the rate for non-Hispanic whites (1.3 per 100,000 population) in all pedestrian crashes

Statistics of Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago

Severe Pedestrian Injuries

Accident statistics reveal that pedestrians traveling on sidewalks, along the side of the road, and in intersections have an 85% risk of dying when struck by a motor vehicle traveling at 40 mph, which dropped significantly to 45% when the car was traveling at 30 mph.

However, pedestrians surviving a horrific motor vehicle accident can suffer catastrophic injuries on the body's most vulnerable areas, like the arms, legs, back, and head, including:

  • Tetraplegia, quadriplegia, or paraplegia (total or partial paralysis)
  • Fractured bones and other orthopedic injuries, including musculoskeletal damage 
  • Fatal injuries that ultimately lead to wrongful death

Nearly every horrific accident involving pedestrians happens when the passenger car's front strikes the victim, where the bumper, hood, or headlight makes the initial contact. Smaller passenger cars tend to strike the victim at or below the knee, where SUVs and taller pickup trucks contact the victim's body higher on the legs.

That said, young children often suffer horrific damage to the abdominal area and chest cavity when struck by the hood's edge. Children are often at risk for being catastrophically injured in pedestrian accidents because they have yet to develop judgment on accurately navigating traffic without assistance. 

Additionally, children at a disadvantage because:

  • A young child's peripheral vision does not fully develop until later in life
  • They often cannot discern the direction of the sound to identify where the car is coming from
  • The child believes that the motorist can see them because they can see the car
  • Children cannot judge the automobile's distance and speed
  • They believe that the car can stop in time
  • Their sense of danger is not yet fully formed

Pedestrian Accidents Statistics in Chicago

The Number of Pedestrian Traffic Deaths are on a Significant Rise

Pedestrian accident statistics reveal that many more Americans choose not to walk to their destination than ever before in history. Even so, the number of pedestrian fatalities has risen significantly over the past decades, rising significantly since 2010.

In 2017, 6283 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes. Sadly, the significant rise in death rates comes when pedestrian safety technology makes driving easier and safer for everyone. 

Tests conducted by the American Auto Association revealed that pedestrian detection alerts and emergency braking prevented 60% of potential traffic crashes when the automobile was traveling at 20 miles an hour during daylight hours.

Unfortunately, most fatal pedestrian traffic crashes occur after dark. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reveals that many pedestrians are killed by alcohol-impaired drivers who failed to take quick action to avoid striking a pedestrian on the side of the road, in an intersection, or on the sidewalk.

Determining Fault: Statistics and Facts

Licensed drivers are taught to use reasonable care anytime they operate a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, commercial truck, SUV, or van. Any willful act or negligent behavior could create liability problems for the driver.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly all pedestrian accidents were the result of the driver's negligence or willful carelessness that includes:

  • Driving distracted by using a phone, using a navigation system, or conversing with a passenger
  • Failing to notice the pedestrian in the crosswalk
  • Failing to use their turn signal
  • Failing to notice if the pedestrian has the right away at the walk signal
  • Miscalculating adverse weather conditions
  • Making an illegal lane change
  • Not adjusting speed when traveling on hazardous roads
  • Texting while driving
  • Failing to yield for any pedestrian at a crosswalk
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding through an occupied crosswalk
  • Disobeying school zone signs
  • Not following the posted speed limits
  • Ignoring crossing signals

However, pedestrians can also be partially liable for causing the accident if they were jaywalking, crossing the street against road signage or traffic signals, or darting into traffic.

Third parties can also be partially responsible or primarily at fault for causing a pedestrian accident. These potential third parties could include:

  • Public agencies and construction crews responsible for fixing roadway defects
  • Passengers in the automobile that were distracting the driver when the accident occurred
  • Vehicle and tire manufacturers marketing and selling defective products that hampered automobile safety and cause pedestrian accidents
  • Vehicle owners turning the keys over to an incompetent driver who caused the accident
  • Others allowing an incompetent driver (inexperienced, intoxicated, or drugged driver) who knew better to get behind the wheel

Anyone can follow practical pedestrian safety tips to reduce the possibility of being struck by an automobile during daylight and nighttime hours. Pedestrian should be encouraged to: 

  • Increase their visibility by carrying a flashlight in the dark or wear reflective clothing, including reflected vests
  • Only cross the road at designated crosswalks and cross streets when available, and avoid any non-intersection when possible
  • Use a pathway or sidewalk instead of the road and only use the shoulder of the road to walk while facing traffic when the path or sidewalk is unavailable
  • Avoid dangerous behaviors, including jaywalking that could cause pedestrian crashes
  • Watch for turning cars and trucks, obey traffic signals, and look both directions before crossing the street to avoid motor vehicle crashes
  • Do not use electronic devices, including headphones or earbuds, when walking to increase pedestrian safety
  • Avoid walking when alcohol or drug-impaired
  • Do not allow any distractions that can impair coordination or judgment to ensure traffic safety

Common Pedestrian Accident Distractions

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration data reveals that a pedestrian could be struck by an automobile while listening to music on their smartphone, texting a friend, or distracted by some of their mobile technology. 

Other common distractions that lead to catastrophic pedestrian accidents include:

  • Pedestrians being struck while walking in parking lots
  • Pedestrians jaywalking
  • Sharing a sidewalk with a bicyclist
  • Struck when out of the driver's line of sight
  • Pedestrians walking or jogging on the side of the road
  • Pedestrians sharing the roadway or shoulder with other road users
  • Struck when drivers are backing out from driveways and parking spaces
  • Pedestrian struck when the driver is turning the car at a corner

Other contributing factors that place pedestrians at risk of being hit by a motor vehicle include poorly constructed sidewalks and roads and walkways in disrepair that cause pedestrians to enter the road to continue walking.

Many elderly drivers fail to see pedestrians due to their poor vision, lack of hearing, or inability to react quickly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) traffic safety tips can reduce the number of pedestrians killed every year and stop the majority of catastrophic injuries.

Don't Be a Statistic. Hire an Auto Accident Injury Attorney to Handle Your Compensation Case

Were you struck by a passenger car while walking, or did you lose a loved one through wrongful death? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help ensure you receive adequate financial compensation to cover your damages.

Our law firm understands that not everyone has enough financial savings to hire an attorney. Instead, we choose to accept all pedestrian injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on contingency. This agreement ensures you pay us only after successfully resolving the case on your behalf and obtaining compensation through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.

Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let us discuss your legal options and how we can proceed.

Our legal team currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Covid-19 (coronavirus epidemic) social distancing guidelines to ensure our clients' safety.

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