When you think of car accidents, most people think only of car accidents that involve two vehicles on the road. The truth is plenty of accidents directly involve pedestrians and vehicles together. The statistics are rather shocking if truth be told, so let’s look at the type of accidents that occur, how often and how many generally happen.
Pedestrian injuries and deaths
The sad truth is that even though driving is considered one of the most dangerous modes of travel when it comes to the statistics and probability of an accident occurring, walking is perhaps not quite as safe as it is commonly thought. Let’s look at the numbers. In 2013 alone, nearly 4,750 pedestrians were actually killed in crashes that involved motor vehicles. Bicyclists also suffered from staggering statistics: almost 750 of them were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2013.
This comes out to about 12 deaths or more for every day of the year. This doesn’t even take into account the staggering number of pedestrian injuries that happen every day which do not result in death. There were around 66,000 injuries of pedestrians in 2013 alone, which equates to a pedestrian injury from a motor vehicle every eight minutes. This is only the injuries that were reported to the police; according to records found in hospitals, for instance, there are, in fact, many more injuries that take place that are never reported at all. In other words, 66,000 injuries is the low number.
The good news
Luckily, not all of this is negative. Although the numbers are shocking and staggering, the rate of pedestrian injuries that involved a motor vehicle has actually dropped over the past 15 years or so, by roughly 15 percent. If the current trend continues, this means that the number will continue to drop and hopefully will eventually become a far more manageable number.
The dangers of walking
You might never have even heard of anyone you know being involved in a pedestrian accident so these numbers may sound quite shocking to you. You are likely wondering how dangerous walking really is, with shocking numbers like these. It is important to look at it in comparison to other modes of transportation. That being said, gathering this data isn’t easy, and has yet to be considered accurate or useful — accurately knowing how many people walk how many miles per year, or the average number of hours spent walking, or even the number of times people cross the street every day, is nearly impossible. Therefore, measuring the level exposure with the number of injuries is by no means an exact science.
It is important to acknowledge that a certain level of risk when it comes to walking, of course, but that risk comes with just about any mode of transportation under the sun. Walking is still generally safe, as tens of millions of people are doing it and the number of deaths compared with the number of walkers is still extremely low. In other words, don’t let the scary statistics stop you from walking.