Pedestrian accidents can be catastrophic and even deadly. Almost all pedestrian accidents result in serious injuries to the pedestrian victims. Unfortunately, when the victim is wheelchair bound, he or she is more likely to suffer devastating injuries or death as a result. A new study confirms that wheelchair users are in fact more likely to be killed in traffic accidents than other pedestrians.
The Georgetown University Study
The data on wheelchair-bound pedestrians involved in automobile accidents has always been incomplete. A group of researchers from Georgetown University fill in the gaps for the missing data on pedestrians using wheelchairs who are involved in motor vehicle accidents. The findings suggest that wheelchair pedestrians are one-third more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than other pedestrians. The study also found that in more than 75 percent of auto accidents that involve a wheelchair pedestrian, the motorist who caused the accident did not use a “crash avoidance maneuver” – like braking or steering.
The study also found that while the mortality rate for general public pedestrians was 1.5 fatalities for every 100,000, the fatality rate for pedestrian wheelchair users was 2 per 100,000. Moreover, the most vulnerable group of wheelchair pedestrians on the roads was men 50 to 64 years of age. This group was 75 percent more likely than their counterpart pedestrians to be killed in road accidents.
Factors That Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), various factors contribute to wheelchair related automobile accidents. Some of these factors are discussed below:
- Motorist’s failure to see the wheelchair pedestrian as they cross the road. The sitting position of the wheelchair places the individual lower in the sight of motorists on the road, making it more difficult to be seen in crosswalks.
- Motorist’s inability to anticipate the actions of the wheelchair pedestrian.
- Wheelchair pedestrian crossing the street outside of crosswalk areas.
Any pedestrian-related car accident is dangerous. However, when the pedestrian is wheelchair bound, the resulting injuries can be even more catastrophic and more often fatal. The disabled pedestrians do not have the same protections as the motorist and the sheer force and size of the motor vehicle can result in significant bodily injuries. When this is combined with the siting position of the wheelchair pedestrian, the impact of the vehicle will be even more severe and damaging. Furthermore, since the force of the impact will almost always involve the pedestrian being thrown a distance from the impact, the disabled individual will also have to deal with the injuries resulting from the chair itself.
Consult with a Pedestrian Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of pedestrian-related auto accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Los Angeles, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.