Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

Pedestrian accidents and a vehicle's speed

Many California residents may be interested in learning more about the statistics behind pedestrian accidents. Although it's common knowledge that they are dangerous, studies show a surprising rise in lethality at seemingly incremental speed increases.

According to research data, someone being hit by a vehicle traveling 30 mph is 70 percent more likely to die as a result than someone hit by a vehicle going just 25 mph. As might be expected, the consequences of such data can have an important impact on traffic regulations, such as determining default speed limits in residential areas. In general, studies have shown that the risk of death in pedestrian accidents begins increasing rapidly after exceeding 30 mph.

One of the most important distinctions in the data is the increased likelihood that older pedestrians have of being killed by a car. For instance, a 30-year-old person who is struck by a car traveling 45 mph has a nearly equal chance of being killed as a 70-year-old struck by a car traveling 35 mph. Similarly, while the data indicates that a 30-year-old has a 36 percent chance of being killed by a car traveling 40 mph, the odds of a 70-year-old being killed by a vehicle traveling that same speed are nearly twice that. This strongly indicates that the age of the pedestrian plays an important role in predicting the severity of these accidents.

These situations illustrate the dangers that such accidents can have for pedestrians. The victims of such incidents are at risk of suffering serious injuries that can greatly affect their quality of life. If a person in a crosswalk and who has the right of way is hit by a car, an attorney might assist in filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver seeking compensation for the client's medical expenses and other losses.

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