Vehicle Impact Speed and a Pedestrian’s Risk of Fatality or Severe Injury
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that around 4,000 pedestrians are killed in motor vehicle accidents per year. Many more are severely injured and may suffer from either short- or long-term disability. What determines the difference between those that are just injured and those that suffer a fatality? The answer is often vehicle speed. Learn more about how the speed of a vehicle upon impact can affect a pedestrian’s risk of injury or death with help from the following information.
Increased Speed Heightens the Risk of Fatality
There are many disagreements about vehicle speed and the risk of fatality in pedestrian accidents – namely the specific speeds at which the risk of death and severe injury increase). However, there is a universally accepted truth: higher speeds increases the risk of fatality for pedestrians. As such, areas that are dense in human foot traffic tend to have lower speed limits (i.e. residential areas, business districts in major cities, etc.). These areas may also contain more safety provisions, such as crosswalks, extra traffic lights, and warning signs to notify drivers of pedestrian crossings. Sadly, some drivers either miss or refuse to heed them.
Study Finds Other Confounding Variables
While speed is one of the major contributing factors in the risk of death or serious injury to pedestrians, a study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) found other potential variables. These factors included:
Victim height and weight,
Vitim body mass index (BMI),
Vehicle curb weight, and
Vehicle bumper height.
The impact that these factors had on the overall risk of serious injury or death to victims were, in many cases, predictable. For example, elderly victims had a much higher risk of death or serious injury than young adults. Larger vehicles were also found to increase the risk of pedestrian death or serious injury. More specifically, SUVs and pickup trucks were more likely to result in serious injury or fatality than cars.
Understanding Why the Data May Be Relevant
The data might seem irrelevant after the accident has occurred, but it could have a significant impact in the victim’s case. For example, a driver who was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident may be held liable for increased damages, especially if their actions resulted in serious injury or death to the victim. In addition, the smaller stature or increased age of a victim may increase their medical costs or their risk of fatality, which could also increase the liability of an at-fault driver. For assistance in determining how various factors could impact your pedestrian injury case, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Our Wisconsin Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Fight for You
When a victim experiences loss, they need an advocate who can stand up for their rights and protect their interests. This is the role that the Appleton pedestrian accident lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. assume. Seasoned advocates who are committed to getting you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve, we will be by your side, every step of the way. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation. Call 920-739-7366 today.