A recent study aimed to analyze the relationship between vehicle speed and the risk of a fatal pedestrian accident shows how dangerous cars are to pedestrians.
In 2013, around 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States. In other words, one traffic accident-related pedestrian death occurs every two hours. Furthermore, nearly 150,000 pedestrians reported to emergency rooms for treatment of non-fatal accident related injuries. Due to obvious reasons, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to get killed in a car crash compared to vehicle occupants. Owing to the high number of passenger injuries and fatalities, federal and state authorities have been making serious efforts to create awareness about pedestrian safety.
Considerable research has been done to understand the factors that increase the likelihood of pedestrian injury and fatality in the event of a crash. In this post, our Chicago personal injury lawyers will discuss how vehicle speed impacts the risk of a fatal accident.
Does Speed Matter?
When a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, there is little chance that the pedestrian will escape without injuries. Even if the crash occurs at low speed, the pedestrian can suffer serious injuries. A recent study aimed to analyze the relationship between vehicle speed and the risk of a fatal pedestrian accident shows how dangerous cars are to pedestrians. The study broke down data to demonstrate how the age of the victim affects his/her chance of survival in the event of a crash.
The study shows that serious injuries and even fatalities can occur at a low speed. A collision between a passenger car traveling at 18mph and a 70 year old pedestrian has a 10 percent mortality rate. At a slightly higher speed (23mph), the mortality rate for an average pedestrian is 10 percent. Surprisingly, at 34 mph, 50 percent of the older pedestrian victims will likely die, and at 42 mph, fifty percent of all pedestrians will likely die. A crash at 50 mph will kill 90 percent of older pedestrians, and about three quarters of pedestrians of all ages.
Speed is a common element in many car accidents. Over the past decade, speed related accidents have contributed to more than 28 percent of traffic-related deaths. This means, in terms of total fatality rate, speeding is as dangerous as drunk driving. These statistics are obviously startling, and a cause of concern for state and city legislators. The study has found that the risk of a crash turning fatal begins to increase sharply at 25 mph. For this reason, some cities have reduced the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph in areas with high pedestrian traffic.
Seeking Legal Help in a Chicago Car Accident Case
Car accidents involving a pedestrian often leads to severe injuries, and in many cases, death. If your loved one has been killed in a auto related accident, you should seek legal help from an experienced Chicago auto accident attorney. Call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation.