From 2000 to 2009, there were nearly 1,000 fatalities resulting from traffic-related pedestrian accidents in Indiana, according to Transportation for America. These accidents cost the state nearly $3 billion. Our state ranks 25th out of the 50 states for pedestrian danger. We surely aren’t the worst, but we surely aren’t the best.
According to a recent study that was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety the relationship between a pedestrian’s risk of death and the speed of the vehicle upon impact is directly correlated. This topic has been studied extensively, but had not been revisited in recent years. Older studies lack relevancy when compared to today’s cars, technological advancements and modern street designs.
Our Highland pedestrian accident attorneys understand that bicycle and pedestrian accidents commonly result in serious or fatal injuries. Before concluding the study, AAA comprised a list of recommendations that local, state and federal transportation officials should consider to help make our roadways safer for pedestrians and all other travelers.
“It’s time for a healthy reminder that Indiana’s sidewalk and trail network is also expanding to serve a demand for non-motorized modes of transportation and recreation,” said Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Michael B. Cline.
The AAA Foundation reports that there were about 4,000 pedestrians who were fatally injured on U.S. roadways because of motor-vehicle-related accidents in 2009. Another 59,000 were injured in these types of incidents. Through the study of pedestrian accident data, the Foundation has determined that the speed of the involved vehicle was a top contributor in these accidents. Faster accidents more often resulted in serious or fatal injuries to accident victims.
According to the study, a pedestrian faces a 10 percent risk of injury when hit by a vehicle that is traveling just 16 mph. Pedestrians face a 25 percent risk at 23 mph, a 50 percent risk at 31 mph, a 75 percent at 39 mph and a 90 percent risk at 46 mph.
The risks increase just the same when calculating the risk of death. A pedestrian faces a 10 percent risk of death when hit by a vehicle that is traveling at just 23 mph, a 25 percent risk at a speed of 32 mph, a 50 percent risk of death at 42 mph, a 75 percent risk at 50 mph and a 90 percent risk when a vehicle strikes at 58 mph.
Indiana transportation officials continue to move forward with new plans for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Program that is aimed at increasing the safety of our pedestrians and cyclists.
Bicycle and pedestrian plans have recently been approved for the following communities:
-The South Bend-Elkhart area
-Hamilton County, Bloomington
-The urban portions of Clark and Floyd Counties
The AAA Foundation summed up its report with a number of safety measures that federal, state and local governments can look at to help reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents.
One of the first recommendations included reducing speed limits. Speed limits should be reduced in areas where a large pedestrian population tends to travel. In areas where fast-traveling traffic is a necessity, officials are encouraged to create a physical separation to keep pedestrians and motor-vehicle traffic separated from one another. The study also reaches out to car manufacturers, urging them to find ways to create smarter in-car technology that has the capability of detecting pedestrians who may be dangerously close to the vehicle and either alerting the driver or automatically rerouting the car itself.
Attorney Burton A. Padove represents pedestrian accident victims throughout Northeast Indiana and Illinois, including Lake, Jasper, Newton, Porter and Cook Counties. If you or someone you love has been involved in a pedestrian accident, call (219) 836 2200.
More Blog Entries:
New Proposal to Ban Hand-Held Devices Aims to Reduce Risks of Trucking Accidents in Highland and Elsewhere, Indiana Injury And Family Lawyer Blog, September 19, 2011
Students Riding Bicycles and Walking to School Warned of Dangers of Child-Pedestrian Accidents in Indiana, Indiana Injury And Family Lawyer Blog, August 25, 2011