Every pedestrian is vulnerable on the road because drivers may not pay enough attention and may be unaware of how to safely share the roads with walkers. When a car strikes a pedestrian, the walker isn’t protected by any safety equipment. As a result, a pedestrian faces a much more significant risk of serious or fatal injuries as compared with people who are involved in car crashes as either drivers or passengers.
While any pedestrian could be hurt, recent research shows that wheelchair users are more likely to be killed in pedestrian auto accidents. When a pedestrian is injured or killed, whether the pedestrian is in a wheelchair or not, it is important to determine whether the driver was negligent or careless and whether the driver’s actions led to the crash occurring.
If the driver was responsible for the accident, an attorney in Atlanta with experience in pedestrian crash cases can help victims to pursue a case for compensation for losses. When the crash is fatal, surviving family members of the deceased pedestrian can also make a case.
Wheelchair Users and the Risk of Atlanta Pedestrian Collisions
CBS reported on the troubling research from the online journal BMJ Open, which demonstrated the added risk of pedestrian collisions for people in wheel chairs. Between 2006 and 2012, 528 wheelchair users died in road traffic collisions across the United States. The added risk is very significant, with wheel chair users as much as three times as likely to be killed in a pedestrian/car crash as compared with the rest of the population. The majority of the accidents which result in the death of wheel chair users happen at intersections and the traffic flow was not controlled in four of the 10 incidents in which fatal collisions occurred when cars hit pedestrians.
Wheelchair users face this elevated threat at a time when pedestrian accident fatality rates have been remaining steady or rising, even as other kinds of crash deaths declined. Each year, close to 5,000 pedestrians die in car crashes and another 76,000 suffer injuries in motor vehicle collisions. When an accident takes a life or causes an injury, the financial and emotional loss for the victim and families is unmeasurable. The rates of death are already far too high for all pedestrians, so it is especially troubling that wheelchair users are so vulnerable to an accident that could take their lives. Among wheelchair users, men have the greatest chance of dying in pedestrian crash, especially men between the ages of 50 and 64.
Wheelchair users face this added danger on the road because drivers often fail to yield the right-of-way and because drivers often do not see wheelchair users. In close to ¾ of the crashes involved in the study, there wasn’t any evidence the driver took evasive measures to try to avoid the accident. This suggests that drivers aren’t looking and aren’t reacting when there is a wheelchair user in their path. Drivers who fail to yield or who do not pay attention should be held liable when a person in a wheelchair is injured or killed.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent victims after a collision. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.