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National statistics regarding pedestrian accidents

Massachusetts drivers might be interested to know that 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic collisions nationwide in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That represents a 3.2 percent decline in the number of fatalities recorded in 2001, when 4,901 pedestrians died on account of traffic accidents.

The NHTSA statistics show that more than 12 pedestrian deaths occurred each day in 2012. Males comprised 69 percent of these fatalities, and the average age among decedents was 46. Reportedly, 73 percent of the crashes occurred in urban areas and 32 percent, between 8 p.m. and midnight.

According to the NHTSA, pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries is a noteworthy issue as well. In 2012, a pedestrian was injured in a traffic accident every seven minutes, approximately. However, only a fraction of injury-causing pedestrian accidents elicit a police report, authorities state. Data also shows that medical costs for injured pedestrians under the age of 15 alone total about $5.2 billion a year.

Despite these figures, fatal pedestrian accidents account for just 14 percent of all recorded traffic deaths. While these pedestrian death figures, moreover, indicate a certain danger involved with walking in the same vicinity as motor vehicles, public health authorities state that a lack of walking is associated with even more deaths due to cardiovascular health issues. In 2000, roughly 65,000 deaths were causally linked to physical inactivity and poor diet.

Pedestrians injured in traffic accidents might wish to seek compensation for the financial damages they suffered in connection with their injuries via civil action. In order to prevail, such victims must retain a personal injury lawyer and prove to a civil court that another party's actionable behavior contributed to the accident.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, "Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics", September 22, 2014

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