No matter how you travel from point A to point B, there is some level of risk involved. You could be driving a car or a motorcycle, riding on a bus or a train, and there is always the chance of an accident.
Unfortunately, the number of pedestrian/motor vehicle fatalities has increased in recent years, which means that those who set out for their destination on foot could be unwitting targets for drivers.
Crash data, injuries and death
According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 people died in pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents in 2015. This is significant because this number represents the most pedestrian fatalities on record since 1996. The NHTSA compared the 2015 figure to the 2006 figure of 4,795 fatalities and found that it represents a 12.1 percent increase. Furthermore, there were 61,000 pedestrian injuries in 2006 but 70,000 in 2015, an increase of 14.8 percent.
Transportation professionals who study the numbers admit that some questions still lack answers. There is no reliable data about how many miles pedestrians walk annually, or how often they walk in close proximity to traffic situations. However, there are certain trends in the data the NHTSA collected for 2014, shares the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center:
- Nearly three out of four pedestrian deaths took place in urban areas.
- The average age of those who died was 47, and the average age of those injured was 37.
- Of the pedestrians who died, 70 percent were males.
- As to time of day, 26 percent of the pedestrian deaths occurred between 6 pm and 8:59 pm.
How pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions happen
Speeding vehicles play a big role in pedestrian deaths. A collision might also happen because a car continues through a crosswalk. A driver might not stop before turning right or fail to stop completely at an intersection. Whatever the circumstances, the pedestrian may suffer severe, life-changing injuries—which is ironic, considering that walking is a heart-healthy activity and good for your overall physical well-being.