According to the US Department of Transportation run Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 4,735 pedestrians and 743 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2013. In addition to those numbers, there were a reported 66,000 pedestrian and 48,000 bicyclist injuries in the same year.
Pedestrian injuries, which had been a decline in past years, slightly rose in 2013. The reason for that is unclear. According to a report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, pedestrian injuries among children age 14 and younger is $5.2 billion per year. California has the not-so-great distinction of leading the country in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities.
Pedestrian fatalities comprise more than 10% of crash fatalities. Similar to fatal car accidents, pedestrian fatalities occur most frequently between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Almost 70% of pedestrians killed in 2012 and 2013 were male, and the average age of pedestrians killed was 46. While many people associate drunk driving with accidents, 34% of pedestrians killed in 2013 had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
The number of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents is lower, representing only 2% of fatalities from traffic crashes, but that could be simply because more people walk than ride their bicycles. Also, helmets and other safety gear like lighting worn by bicyclists are not typically worn by pedestrians. As with pedestrian fatalities, a majority of bicycle fatalities are men, at 83%. 22% of bicycle fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. In 20% of fatal crashes, the cyclist had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
Why is all of this important? It simply gives us a picture of where the danger zones may be. Every mode of transportation comes with its own set of risks. The evening rush hour is a time to be particularly careful, whether you are driving, cycling or walking. It is also important to look out for impaired individuals who may be on the road in a variety of capacities.
Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists can be traumatizing and involve serious injuries. An experienced advocate can assist in navigating the legal field while you and your loved one focus on health and recovery.