As Kansas City personal injury lawyers, we know that pedestrians are extremely
susceptible to life-threatening injuries in Missouri car accidents: after
all, a person is no match for a motor vehicle. Recent federal research
suggests that pedestrian accidents are on the rise nationwide, and identifies
a key contributing factor: pedestrian alcohol use.
new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal car accidents has decreased over the last
10 years, but the number of pedestrian fatalities has risen by three percent.
What's more, more pedestrians who are killed in traffic crashes are
proving to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit.
In 2011, approximately 37% of pedestrians who suffered fatal injuries
in auto accidents (about 1,500 people) had BACs of 0.08% or above.
Jonathan Adkins, spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association
(GHSA), told USA today that anti-drunk driving campaigns could be encouraging
pedestrians to walk home - rather than drive home - if they've been
drinking. However, Adkins is quick to note that alcohol can have a negative
impact on pedestrians' decision making and reaction time, just as
it does for drivers. As a result, intoxicated pedestrians are more likely
to cross the street in a dangerous place, for example, or attempt to "beat"
an oncoming vehicle. "What [the data] says to us is that nationally
we've done a good job of educating people about the dangers of drunk
driving, but we haven't done such a good job of reminding them that
other drunk behavior, including walking, can be just as dangerous,"
In response to the new data, NHTSA is offering individual states a chance
to apply for a total of $2 million in grants to fund pedestrian safety
education and enforcement programs in 22 specific cities that reported
the highest number of pedestrian fatalities, according to
U.S. News and World Report. St. Louis is the only Missouri city that appears on the list.
Pedestrian accidents: The facts
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 4,432 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 69,000 were injured
in 2011 U.S. motor vehicle accidents.
• The hours after dark appear to be the most dangerous time for pedestrians.
About 70% of 2011 pedestrian deaths occurred at nighttime, and approximately
39% of pedestrian fatalities happen on weekend nights, while 27% happen
on weekday nights.
• Fatal auto accidents involving pedestrians are more likely to happen
in urban environments, with three out of four pedestrian deaths occurring
in urban areas like Kansas City.
• Pedestrians who don't use crosswalks are more vulnerable to
car accident injuries: 70% of pedestrian fatalities happen in areas away
from marked intersections.
• Men are more likely suffer fatal injuries in pedestrian/vehicle
collisions. More than two-thirds of pedestrians killed in these collisions are men.
Aaron Sachs and Associates is a personal injury law firm serving auto accident
victims in Jackson County, Missouri and the surrounding areas, including
Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Greenwood,
Buckner, Grain Valley, Grandview, Oak Grove, Raytown and Sugar Creek.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash caused by a careless
or negligent driver, please contact our office to find out if we can help.
Call us toll-free at 1-855-695-1426.
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