Hutchinson, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/12/2015 --Recent statistics show a rise in automobile-related pedestrian fatalities over the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 4,743 pedestrians killed and 76,000 injured in 2012 due to auto accidents. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there is an automobile-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and an injury every 7 minutes in the United States.
The majority of pedestrians either killed or injured in an auto accident are adults aged 65 and older. Twenty percent of the children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are killed in auto accidents are also pedestrians. In 2012, pedestrian fatalities occurred most often at non-intersections in urban environments after dark (NHTSA).
"Pedestrians over the age of 65 are injured or killed after they fall while crossing the street, or trip over the curb," says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney of Mann Law Offices. "Many child pedestrians fall victim to auto accidents while walking to school, or shortly after leaving the bus stop. Others dart into the street unexpectedly while playing outside."
Motorists who hit pedestrians are usually not paying attention to the posted speed limit, or are driving while intoxicated. Almost 50 percent of automobile and pedestrian accidents involve one or both parties over the legal blood alcohol level.
In order to better protect themselves from auto accidents, pedestrians need to take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Pedestrians of all ages should cross the street at a crosswalk and be aware of their surroundings at all times. At night, they should wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight to increase their visibility.
"Children are especially vulnerable to auto accidents, as they are more difficult for motorists to see," says Mann. "Child pedestrians should always ask a parent or guardian to assist them in crossing the street. They should never run into the street to retrieve a toy or pet until they look both ways, and the road is clear of all oncoming traffic."