In 2010, an average of 12 pedestrians died every day in traffic accidents, for a total of 4,280 pedestrian accident fatalities for the year. In an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, the city of Appleton, Wisconsin, in partnership with Lawrence University, has added two new crosswalks with flashing lights on College Avenue.

Groups at Risk

Men are killed in pedestrian accidents more often than women. Fatal pedestrian accidents occur more often in urban areas, and the majority of pedestrian accidents, 70 percent, occur between 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. Also, alcohol is involved in about 48 percent of traffic crashes in which a pedestrian is killed – and it’s usually the pedestrian who has consumed alcohol.

With 244 fatalities, children aged 14 and younger made up about six percent of pedestrian deaths in 2009. In that same year, an additional 13,000 children aged 14 and younger were seriously injured in pedestrian accidents. About one-fifth of children ages five to nine that were killed in car crashes were pedestrians. Older people are also at risk for pedestrian accidents. In 2009, the elderly accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and about eight percent of all pedestrian injuries.

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians make up over 13 percent of car crash deaths. Walking is generally a safe activity, and researchers cannot really say how many people are walking per year or how many miles are walked per year, so while this sounds like a high figure, there is nothing to put this into perspective. However, the number of deaths is still high, and each life is important. Any death from a traffic accident is one death too many.

Pedestrians should always try to cross the street at crosswalks when possible and always look left, right, and left again when crossing the street. When walking in the street, face the traffic. Most pedestrian deaths occur at night, so to enhance their safety, pedestrians should wear bright, reflective clothing or carry flashlights when walking.

Generally, drivers must give pedestrians the right-of-way when they are crossing at intersections, regardless of whether there is a marked crosswalk. A lot of accidents occur when drivers are turning onto another street. Drivers must always remain alert and remember that pedestrians are out there.

There are legal remedies available to the injured. Drivers should be watching out for pedestrians while they are on the roads, particularly at crosswalks like the new ones in Appleton. Wisconsin pedestrians injured in car crashes may be able to recover for their injuries. A personal injury attorney is a great resource for pedestrians in Wisconsin to discover their legal remedies and get the compensation they deserve.