You’re more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane crash, a shark attack or any of the common fears that plague people in the air and ocean. But on the street, millions of people play the odds every day. Most of those millions reach their destinations unharmed, but others suffer from the actions of a negligent driver.
As dangerous as an accident may be for the car’s occupants, it’s even worse for pedestrians. The interior of a car is filled with safety features that, when used correctly, provide a substantial measure of protection. For the unfortunate pedestrian, however, there is a much higher likelihood of death than there is for anyone else involved in the accident.
Modern cars have airbags, seat belts and crumple zones; none of these things can help the person outside of the car when a couple of tons of metal are approaching at high velocity. Electric cars make very little noise and are silent upon approach, heightening the danger for pedestrians.
You may have noticed that most airbags are primarily intended to protect the head. Broken bones can be set, and burns, scrapes or cuts can heal, but an injury to the brain is entirely different. Even a low-speed accident can easily cause a concussion or worse.
When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the initial impact is typically an event where the bumper contacts the lower legs of the individual. This force knocks the pedestrian’s feet from under him and turns his head towards the oncoming vehicle. As the vehicle continues its forward motion, the pedestrian’s head makes contact with the windshield.
The physics of a pedestrian collision create a higher likely hood of TBI and of death for individuals struck by a car. The tragedy of pedestrian brain injuries is compounded by the distressingly involvement of large numbers of children. Their growing bodies and bones are less robust than an adult’s is, so the damage done is often more serious. In addition, a number of risk factors place children in harm’s way.
Children under 7 years of age have extremely limited experience with traffic and can easily become distracted while playing. Even older children may be focused on conversation or sports, forgetting about nearby traffic. Children often fail to think before running into the street after a ball. In addition, small children are hard for drivers to see, especially when backing.
It is important to educate children on the dangers of traffic, how to deal with them, and how to be alert at all times. Children must be taught to stop, look, left, then right, then left again before stepping onto the pavement. It is important for children to walk, not run, so they do not fall down in the road, posing a higher risk of being struck by a car.
If a negligent driver seriously injured you or your child, contact our office for a free consultation. We can help you determine the best course of action to gain fair compensation for your injuries.