Extensive research has been done to understand the factors that increase the likelihood of injury or death when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. In this post, we’ll look at the role a vehicle’s speed plays in the harm pedestrians suffer.
Researchers have extensively studied the factors that increase the likelihood of injury or death when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. In this post, we’ll look at the role a vehicle’s speed plays in the damage a pedestrian suffers.
While it seems obvious that collision speed matters, the role it plays in the extent of damage that a pedestrian suffers may be surprising. It may be surprising that, as the results of a 2011 study show, even at low collision speeds pedestrians frequently suffer serious injuries or die.
Risk of Severe Injury
The results of the 2011 study show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches 10% at an impact speed of only 16 mph, 25% at 23 mph, and 50% at 31 mph.
At higher collision speeds, the risk of severe injury expectedly increases: the average risk of serious injury is 75% at 39 mph, and 90% at 46 mph.
Meanwhile, older pedestrians have a significantly greater risk of severe injury than their younger peers. The average risk of severe injury for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian hit at any given speed is approximately equal to the average risk for a 30‐year‐old hit by a vehicle travelling 9.3 mph faster.
Risk of Death
Pedestrians who receive severe injuries may, in some sense, count themselves among the lucky. After all, it’s not uncommon for a pedestrian to die as a result of a collision with a vehicle, even when there is a low impact speed. The average risk of death reaches 10% at the impact speed of 23 mph, and 25% at 32 mph.
At higher collision speeds, the average risk of death increases: 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Again, the risks vary significantly by age. The average risk of death for a 70‐year‐old pedestrian struck at any given speed is approximately equal to the average risk for a 30‐year‐old pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling 10.4 mph faster.
In a world of distracted drivers and pedestrians, these statistics should be startling. These statistics should also be a serious cause of concern for city and state lawmakers.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Maryland, I recognize that you may have questions about legal options. I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.