Pedestrians in Wheelchairs More Likely to be Fatally Injured

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Dec 02, 2015 in Car Accidents

wheelchair pedestriansA recent study by Georgetown researchers revealed that wheelchair pedestrians are nearly a third more likely to be fatally injured in a motor vehicle accident. Furthermore, more than half of these fatalities take place at intersections.

Taking data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and stories in the news about deadly vehicle collisions, researchers came up with an estimate of wheelchair pedestrian fatalities.

From 2006 to 2012, there were approximately 528 wheelchair pedestrian fatalities. Overall, pedestrians in wheelchairs are three times more likely than other pedestrians to suffer fatal injuries. Additionally, men in wheelchairs were more at risk than female wheelchair pedestrians; men are five times more likely to die in pedestrian collisions.

Around 50 percent of wheelchair fatalities were due to dangerous intersections. In four of the ten cases, traffic wasn't well controlled.

Most of the collisions occurred in intersections that did not have traffic controls or crosswalks, which means there is likely a need for increased pedestrian safety measures.

Where there are no sidewalks, pedestrians in wheelchairs must go in the street, increasing their risk being injured in an accident. Also, poor lighting may make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians in wheelchairs.

Drivers did not attempt to halt or move away from wheelchair pedestrians in about three-quarters of the fatal crashes. It could imply that drivers did not notice pedestrians using wheelchairs because of the speed, height and location of the pedestrians.

This study indicates that additional wheelchair pedestrian safety may be necessary and the government may need to improve upon existing infrastructure to make it safer for disabled pedestrians.

If you are struck by a motor vehicle in Maryland and you are in a wheelchair it is important that you understand that you are likely entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from the insurance policy on the car that hit you.    These are no fault benefits that can help pay for medical treatment or lost income.    

If you were injured in a pedestrian collision, get in touch with the law offices of Goldberg Finnegan immediately. Our personal injury attorneys collectively have decades of legal experience and a track record of success for helping victims of motor vehicle accidents.

Schedule a free legal evaluation today by calling (888) 213-8140.

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