According to The Washington Post, hundreds of individuals in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are struck by vehicles annually, and 82 pedestrians are killed on average.
A recent study conducted by the National Complete Street Coalition showed that many older cities like Washington, D.C. experienced higher rates of pedestrian fatalities, with 20 percent of all traffic deaths involving those on foot.
According to the study, 47,025 pedestrians were killed in the US by vehicles between 2003 and 2012, which is approximately 16 times the number of individuals who died in earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes during the same time frame.
Children and the elderly are sadly at the highest risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Kids are smaller and are often harder for drivers to see, and older individuals sometimes move slower when crossing a busy intersection.
“The majority of pedestrian deaths occur on roadways that are dangerous by design,” stated Roger Millar, the director of the National Complete Street Coalition. “They’ve been engineered and operating for speeding traffic with little or no consideration for people walking, or biking, or using public transit.”
According to Millar, 30 percent of US citizens do not drive. This number is expected to increase as the population over 65 doubles in the next 15 years.
Currently, Congress is debating three separate bills that would fund transportation costs for the next four to six years. Many lawmakers are suggesting that federal money for pedestrian and bicycle programs should not be included, and that all spending should go into the construction and upkeep of roads and bridges.
“The streets in our communities are not working for older Americans,” stated Nancy LeaMond, vice president of AARP. “You shouldn’t need the speed of a Major League Baseball player to safely cross our streets. We know how to design safe streets. The federal government sets the tone. We believe that Congress should address this critical issue as it renews the transportation law.”
What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you have been hit by a car while walking on foot in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and feel that you are entitled to compensation, click here to learn more about your legal rights in a pedestrian accident.