Oklahoma City Ranks High in Pedestrian Accidents
In late May, an inattentive driver allegedly caused a three-vehicle accident that left a pedestrian with critical injuries in northwest Oklahoma City, according to a report in The Daily Oklahoman.
The accident occurred May 21 near NW 10 and Pennsylvania Avenue. One driver was arrested on a complaint of causing an accident resulting in great bodily injury, police said. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents occur far too often in Oklahoma City.
Did you know that Oklahoma City has one of the nation’s highest rates of traffic accidents involving pedestrians? Pedestrians include people who are walking, jogging, running, hiking and standing or sitting beside the road.
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, Oklahoma City ranked 2nd in the nation among large cities in the rate of fatal pedestrian accidents. Detroit had the highest pedestrian fatality rate, followed by Oklahoma City and then Albuquerque.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 211 people were involved in pedestrian accidents in Oklahoma County in 2013. The pedestrian accidents caused 48 incapacitating injuries, 75 non-incapacitating injuries, and 17 deaths. The numbers represent more than a fourth of the entire state’s fatal pedestrian deaths and a third of the incapacitating injuries.
Across the nation, three fourths of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, according to the NHTSA. Oklahoma accident statistics indicated that 550 of 685 pedestrian accidents occurred on city streets and urban highways.
The highest number of pedestrian accidents in Oklahoma occurred in September, as the days begin to get shorter. The second highest number occurred in October.
Seventy percent of pedestrian accidents occur at night. Drivers often have more difficulty seeing pedestrians walking across the road or along side the road at night, particularly if they are wearing dark clothing.
Fatal pedestrian accidents occur most frequently at night between 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Nearly a third of pedestrian accidents occurred during these hours, the NHTSA analysis found.
More than two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections.
Nine out of every 10 pedestrian accidents occur in clear weather conditions, rather than in rain, fog or snow.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Here are some tips to help avoid pedestrian accidents:
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is the location where drivers expect to see pedestrians.
- Remain alert for potential hazards. Don’t be distracted by focusing on a cell phone or headphones. You need all your senses focused on keeping you safe.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk on the road shoulder facing traffic, as far away from traffic as possible.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night. It’s good to have a flashlight as well.
- Never assume that a motorist sees you.
- Alcohol and drugs impair your abilities and judgment. It’s best to avoid them.
Motorists who injure pedestrians in accidents as a result of inattention or negligence should be held accountable. At fault drivers may face criminal prosecution after some pedestrian accidents. An injured pedestrian or the family of a pedestrian who has been killed can also pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim to obtain compensation for the harm suffered. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a pedestrian accident caused by another motorist in Oklahoma, talk to a knowledgeable accident lawyer about your legal options.
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