The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts 2013 Data show the following statistical figures on pedestrian accidents for the said year:
- A total of 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes;
- More than 150,000 pedestrians were also injured and treated in emergency departments;
- 19% of all pedestrian deaths involved older adults or those aged 65 and above;
- For every five children (below 14 years old) who died in traffic crashes, one was a pedestrian;
- 49% of the traffic accidents that resulted in pedestrian death involved an alcohol-impaired driver, an alcohol-impaired pedestrian or both;
- Most of the accidents that resulted to death of pedestrian occurred at night, at non-intersection locations and in urban areas.
Drivers of motor vehicles are almost always the ones blamed in pedestrian accidents. But while it is true that many drivers act recklessly or negligently while behind the wheel, some even deliberately driving too close to people to the point of almost hitting them, so many pedestrians have also become less careful when crossing the street. Below is a list of acts of negligence that drivers and pedestrians are guilty of:
- Some drivers are guilty of speeding and aggressive driving; some pedestrians, on their part, are guilty of darting in front of vehicles, and failing to use designated cross walks.
- Many drivers drive aggressively even during heavy traffic or drive faster during light traffic flow; many pedestrians, on their part, run through intersections or suddenly cross the street despite the high volume of motor vehicles on the street.
- Many drivers are guilty of distracted driving, which takes away their attention from the road; some pedestrians, however, never check for possible approaching vehicles before crossing, while a number of others are much more absorbed on using their mobile devices, especially their cell phones, even when crossing the street.
As explained on the website of the Sampson Law Firm, ensuring the safety of pedestrians is not just the concern of motor vehicle drivers, of the federal, state and local governments, and private concerned groups. First and foremost, it should be the concern of the pedestrian himself/herself, which means, actually, of everyone in the United States because being a pedestrian is one thing that all Americans share in common.