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An Overview of Pedestrian Accidents During 2008-2009

By Kelly Balamuth on August 22, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States, marking a seven percent drop from 4,414 in 2008.

Pedestrians are defined by the NHTSA as individuals on foot (walking, jogging, hiking, running, sitting, and lying down). Along with the 4,092 fatal pedestrian accidents, about 59,000 pedestrians were injured in vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2009. That translates to a pedestrian killed every two hours and injured every nine minutes due to traffic-related accidents.

Nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of pedestrian deaths took place in an urban setting versus a rural setting. In addition, three-fourths (76 percent) of pedestrian fatalities happened at non-intersections versus at intersections. Close to 90 percent of pedestrian deaths transpired during normal weather conditions (no rain, snow, fog, or to detract from awareness), while a large portion (about 70 percent) took place at night.

Alcohol use, by the vehicle driver or the pedestrian, was reported in 48 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Thirty-five percent of impaired pedestrians involved in traffic accidents exhibited a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, while 13 percent of drivers had a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher (under two-thirds the rate for the pedestrians). This data suggests that pedestrians feel a false sense of security when drinking a large amount of alcohol while on foot; and motorists exhibit a false sense of security when consuming moderate amounts of alcohol while driving.

Pedestrian fatalities made up 12 percent of all traffic deaths, and represented three percent of all individuals harmed in traffic incidents. More than 90 percent of pedestrian deaths resulted from single-vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in a traffic accident, call 1-888-254-1234 for a free consultation with the Northern California pedestrian accident lawyers at Balamuth Harrington.

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