Pedestrian injuries are an unfortunate fact of life, particularly in urban environments. As personal injury lawyers, we often represent pedestrians who have suffered injuries caused by motor vehicles. As would be expected, these injuries are often severe.
Many factors influence the severity of a pedestrian’s injuries if they are hit by a motor vehicle. Some of the key ones are vehicle speed, the pedestrian’s centre of gravity, the part of the vehicle that first contacts the pedestrian, the angle of impact and vehicle design.
The most common types of injuries are:
- trauma to the head, legs and pelvis
- tibial fractures
- injuries to the knee ligaments
- traumatic brain injuries
The elderly are especially vulnerable to pedestrian injuries. As might be expected, studies find that elderly victims of pedestrian accidents have the highest mortality rate.
Children are also vulnerable. Studies show that the most common injuries for children struck by vehicles involve the head and neck, while musculoskeletal injuries are the second most common. In adults, by contrast, musculoskeletal injuries are more common than head and neck injuries.
In Canada, there were 315 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2011. This is according to Transport Canada. Thousands more are injured each year.
Follow these safety tips from the City of Calgary to reduce your chances of becoming a pedestrian accident victim:
- Only cross the street when you are sure it’s safe
- Use the Point, Pause and Proceed method to alert motorists to your intentions
- Wear reflective devices and light-coloured clothing
- Pay attention to signals
- Accompany children under the age of nine
More information about common pedestrian injuries is available in this presentation from Pre-Hospital Care World.