There are some communities in Louisiana which have high “walkability” ratings according to walkscore.com. This is great news for those who love the opportunity to not only enjoy the sights and sounds of our communities but prefer to do so on foot. Unfortunately, walking does not offer you many protections in the event of an accident involving a motor vehicle.
Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately more common than many people believe. Across the United States, we are seeing a higher incidence of pedestrian injury and deaths, despite those numbers having shown a slight decrease over the last decade or so. The statistics tell a story about numbers, but it is always important to remember that for every injury or death reported, we are talking about people whose lives have been cut short or changed due to an injury. Each of them has families, friends, and coworkers who may also be impacted by the accident.
Pedestrian Fatality Statistics Across the United States
- Nearly 4,700 pedestrians were killed nationwide in accidents involving motor vehicles.
- Deaths among pedestrians occur more often in men — in 2013, men accounted for more than sixty percent of pedestrians who lost their lives.
- Alcohol is a major factor in pedestrian accidents
- Children under the age of 15 account for 20 percent of pedestrian deaths across the United States in 2013
- Adults over the age of 65 accounted for nearly 10 percent of those injured in pedestrian accidents
Evaluating the Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
One way the government works to help keep pedestrians safe is to evaluate the root causes for these accidents. Some of the trends which have been identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) include:
- There are more pedestrian accidents at night. In fact, only about six percent of pedestrian accidents occur before noon. This number can be extrapolated to indicate more accidents are the result of poor lighting conditions. Further evaluation shows 75 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur in the dark.
- Alcohol use contributes to pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians who were impaired account for more than 30 percent of victims, while impaired drivers account for nearly 17 percent of drivers responsible for a pedestrian accident.
- Nearly 20 percent of victims of a fatal pedestrian accident involved a hit-and-run driver.
- More than 90 percent of all pedestrian accidents involve a single vehicle.
- Intersections are some of the safest places for pedestrians. Less than 20 percent of all pedestrian related accidents occur at an intersection.
Reviewing Louisiana Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The data reports available for pedestrian accidents across Louisiana show some encouraging signs. There were fewer fatalities during 2019 than in prior years, but 2019 was far more deadly than the prior few years. Then number of fatalities and injuries involving pedestrians in Louisiana are:
- During 2019, there were 1,398 injuries to pedestrians and 122 fatalities. Alcohol was a contributing factor in nearly 43 percent of pedestrian accidents.
- Monday was the most dangerous day of the week for pedestrians. Nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Louisiana occurred on a Monday.
- October and December were the deadliest months. 15 Pedestrian deaths were recorded in each month, and June had 14 deaths.
- The fewest pedestrian deaths occurred in June and July — each of these months we lost 6 pedestrians to accidents. In January, May, and September we lost 8 pedestrians.
- Of the 122 pedestrian fatalities which occurred in 2019, 87 were male.
- The highest fatalities, in total 75, were in the age group 25 to 54 in 2019
Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) published a study in January 2014 documenting some of the trends and identifying danger zones across the state. This study revealed some important trends regarding pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, this study has not been updated nor has a follow-up study been conducted.
Deadly Roadways and Intersections
Baton Rouge, LA is among the 20th deadliest cities for pedestrians. Overall, Louisiana is among the top five in lives lost in pedestrian accidents — only Florida and Alabama have higher incidents of pedestrian deaths than Louisiana. There are also a number of deadly intersections in Louisiana which should mean we pay more attention when walking or driving in those areas.
Following a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to seek legal help. Filing an accident injury claim following a pedestrian accident can be complicated. If you have lost a loved one in a Louisiana pedestrian, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Money cannot take the place of a loved one — however, you can hold the person responsible accountable.
Louisiana has some of the most stringent statutes of limitations in the United States. Victims of personal injury must file a claim within one year of the accident as defined in Louisiana Civil Code section 3492. Wrongful death claims may be filed by a surviving spouse, surviving children, or surviving parents or siblings in the event the decedent was single. These suits must also be filed within one year of the death which means it is vitally important to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Pedestrians have little protection when they are walking and are struck by a motor vehicle. Injuries which are not fatal are nearly always serious including broken bones, head and neck injuries, or back injuries. Unfortunately, pedestrians often fall victim to drivers who are impaired, accidents which cause a driver to lose control of their vehicles because they were struck, and other accidents which too often turn out to be fatal.
If you have lost a loved one, or you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Louisiana, you may not know what steps you should take to protect yourself and to make sure you are compensated for your financial losses. You should seek immediate help from a personal injury attorney who has experience handling car accident claims as well as wrongful death claims. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today and make sure you know what rights you have and what options are available.