There seem to be an alarming number of serious pedestrian accident, and bicycle wrecks. In 2012 there were 4,742 pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle wrecks, and 726 bicycle deaths. It appears from the hospital records that only of fraction of pedestrian crashes are even recorded by police. In the same year there were 78,000 pedestrian injuries, and the cost of these injuries to children age 14 and younger is over 5.2 billion per year.
Is pedestrian traffic dangerous? Since the statistics do not reveal how many people are walking, and how far, it is difficult to say whether walking is inherently dangerous, and there are other factors such as time of day, was the accident in the cross walk, the speed of the vehicle. The raw data for pedestrians shows the following breakdown by cause of injury: trip on uneven side walk , 24%; tripped , cause unknown, 17% ; hit by car, 12%; pets involved, 6% ; tripped on stone, 5%.
Anyone who walks in the cities knows the danger of crossing at the light when there is right on red. Even following the traffic lights there is the risk of a driver not stopping at the red light.
Bicyclists in Georgia’s cities complain that the cars do not respect them, and do not give them the 3 feet clearance required by Georgia Law, and the data shows there are less accidents when bicyclists are outside the city. In 2012 there were 726 bicycle deaths, and 49,000 injuries. The injuries are more serious generally than injuries to a passenger in a car accident. It has been established that helmets do reduce the risk of head injuries. According to the National Safety Council the cost of bicycle injuries is over 4 billion per year.
Who is getting killed in bicycle wrecks? It’s interesting that 88 % of the deaths are male, 69 % occur in urban areas, 30% occur between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and 24% killed had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 g/dl or higher. The take away is that women may be more careful than men, don’t bike during rush hour, and at dusk, and don’t drink and ride bikes. This data can be found in the 2012 National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts. Stay safe.