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Why are So Many Columbus Pedestrians Being Hit by Cars?

Mar 24, 2020 Car Accidents    Pedestrian Accidents    Personal Injury

When we think about traffic safety, we mostly consider car accidents. But another important consideration is pedestrian safety. In fact, Columbus pedestrian-car accidents are increasingly common. But why?

If you or a loved one are injured after being struck by a car, contact the Columbus pedestrian accident lawyers at KNR. We know how to handle these cases and have what it takes to get the compensation you need. Call (614) 487-8669 for a free, no-risk consultation.

Pedestrian-Car Accidents Increase in Columbus

In the past three years, the number of individuals hit and killed by cars in Columbus has increased. In 2019, The Columbus Dispatch reported 431 crashes involving pedestrians. Twenty-three of the collisions were fatal, 64 caused serious injuries, and another 246 caused minor injuries.

Columbus isn’t alone in the trend of rising pedestrian deaths—the number of pedestrians killed in Ohio has steadily gone up in recent years. In 2014, only 93 pedestrian fatalities occurred across the state. By 2018, there were 133 pedestrian deaths statewide, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Between 2009 and 2018, there were a total of 1,101 fatal pedestrian crashes across the state, the Walk.Bike.Ohio report noted.

Columbus Pedestrian Accidents: Common Causes

Pedestrians, vehicle drivers, and city planners all might be to blame for pedestrian-vehicle crashes. Each situation is unique, but some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Walking outside of crosswalks: A common problem is pedestrians choosing to cross a street somewhere other than a crosswalk. 61% of pedestrian crashes happened at non-intersection locations, according to the Walk.Bike.Ohio report. Drivers are more likely to be on the lookout for people on foot at intersections or marked mid-block crosswalks.
  • Lack of marked crosswalks: Even when pedestrians try to cross at a crosswalk, that area isn’t necessarily marked by paint on the pavement, signs, or lights. Marked crosswalks are more noticeable to drivers and safer for pedestrians.
  • Walking on the side of the road/Lack of sidewalks: A route might not have sidewalks. Pedestrians who have to walk on the side of the road or a shoulder of the highway face a higher risk of a collision.
  • Walking at Dusk / Nighttime: More pedestrians are hit by cars when the sun is going down and at night. When daylight savings time ends, and it’s darker outside earlier, police see a rise in pedestrian-car accidents, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
  • Listening to music while walking: Pedestrians can’t rely on eyesight alone to avoid cars. It’s best to be able to listen for traffic as well. But most walkers have earbuds in these days and are listening to music or podcasts.
  • Alcohol: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of crashes that caused a pedestrian death involved alcohol, either for the driver or the pedestrian.
  • Children and the elderly: Young kids and people over 65 years old are a significant portion of pedestrian deaths in the US for a variety of reasons. Children might not be as careful as they should. Seniors might be careful, but diminished eyesight or hearing could make it hard to notice oncoming cars.
  • Speeding: An underlying cause of many pedestrian collisions is speed. Motorists who drive faster than the posted speed limit or what is appropriate for the condition might be driving too fast to stop and avoid a crash once they notice a pedestrian.

Ohio Is Working to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

The Ohio Department of Transportation is developing its first pedestrian and bicycle plan: Walk.Bike.Ohio. The goal is to create new transportation policies and invest in new infrastructure and programs that will improve pedestrian and cyclist safety throughout the state.

Also, the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Council (MORPC) is working to reduce pedestrian-vehicle crashes, ABC 6 reported. MORPC is interested in prioritizing dangerous areas that need sidewalks.

Injured in a Columbus Pedestrian Car Accident?

Hopefully, pedestrian safety will improve. But right now, Columbus residents are at risk when they decide to go for a walk or bike to work. If a driver hits you or a relative, don’t hesitate to contact KNR. Our team is skilled in representing pedestrians who were injured by negligent drivers, and we have a successful record in recovering fair compensation.

You can reach out to us online or call (614) 487-8669. We offer free, confidential consultations and accept cases on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront fees, and we only get paid when we win you compensation.

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