William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Most pedestrian accidents happen at low speeds

To better get an idea of how pedestrian accidents happen and what role vehicle speed plays in those accidents, researchers broke down the statistics and found that the majority of crashes were at relatively low speeds. A total of 422 accidents were examined and a full 280 of them happened when the cars were going under 20 mph.

In many ways, this was to be expected. A lot of pedestrian accidents happen in the city, where speed limits are lower than they are in rural areas.

That said, there were 81 cases in which people were hit by vehicles traveling in excess of 30 mph. In 30 of these accidents, cars were actually going over 40 mph.

What happens next is interesting. There were a mere four crashes at typical highway speeds of between 50 and 60 mph. However, for accidents over 60 mph, the stats actually jump back up again, and seven people were hit.

One key takeaway from all of this, though, is that even relatively slow accidents can easily lead to serious injury or death for pedestrians. For instance, the odds of serious injury at 39 mph were 75 percent. The odds of death at 32 mph were 25 percent, while the odds at 50 mph were 75 percent. Cars did not have to be traveling 50 or 60 mph to pose a serious risk; even being hit at 20 mph could be deadly or at least leave the victim with severe injuries.

Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident? If so, with the high medical costs you're likely facing, it's important to know your legal rights.

Source: AAA Foundation, "Impact Speed and a Pedestrian’s Risk of Severe Injury or Deat," Brian C. Tefft, accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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