Drivers and pedestrians both have responsibilities with regard to intersection crossings. In Indiana, pedestrians are subject to the traffic and pedestrian controls, such as “walk” and “don’t walk” signals, and under certain situations, must yield to drivers. Vehicle operators may not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, and pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in crosswalks, under Indiana law (IC 9-21-17).
The number of pedestrians killed on roadways in the nation is not expected to decline in the coming year, and remains almost unchanged since 2013, according to a report issued by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration. Many more Americans are walking, and the report urges continued vigilance and a combination of engineering, education and enforcement actions to better protect against pedestrian injuries.
The report recommends improving infrastructure by adding raised medians or “refuge islands” to protect pedestrians, installing high-intensity, high-visibility crosswalk signals, and limiting speed limits on streets and roadways where pedestrians are in danger due to the volume of fast-moving traffic.
The report revealed the virtually unchanging rate of pedestrian deaths nationwide over the past couple of years:
- January to June 2013: 2,141 Pedestrian Deaths (34 in Indiana)
- January to June 2014: 2,125 Pedestrian Deaths (37 in Indiana)
The study also revealed trends in pedestrian deaths in recent years:
- Pedestrian Accidents are 15 percent higher in 2014 than in 2009
- Since 2009, there has been a 28 percent surge in pedestrian deaths for individuals aged 20 to 69
- In 2013, 36 percent of pedestrian deaths involved drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.
- 70 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Unfortunately, Indianapolis is ranked as one of the worst in the nation for preventable pedestrian accidents. A 2014 report by Smart Growth America, entitled “Dangerous by Design,” ranked the city as 25th most dangerous for pedestrians, based on the following data:
- 199: Total Pedestrian Deaths 2003-2012
- 16: Annual Pedestrian Deaths Per 100,000 (2008–2012)
- 6: Percent of People Commuting by Foot (2008–2012)
- 98: Pedestrian Danger Index (2008–2012)
Children and Older Adults
All pedestrians have some risk of injury, but the study established that children and older adults were at a far higher risk of being struck by a vehicle. A fatal pedestrian injury is a leading cause of death for children aged 15 and younger, and the most common cause of a traumatic brain injury for children aged 5 to 9. National statistics reveal the numbers:
- Almost 18,000 children are admitted to the hospital for pedestrian injuries each year.
- 11 percent of the 18,000 children admitted to the hospital need surgical intervention.
- Pedestrian death is the third leading cause of death for children ages 1–15.
- Pedestrian accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries to children.
- 23 percent of children struck by cars suffer psychological harm.
Older adults comprise 12.6 percent of the population, but account for almost 21 percent of traffic fatalities in pedestrian accidents. Older people no longer have the ability to move fast, react quickly, and potentially avoid a deadly impact. Often this segment of the population has given up driving, and public transportation and walking are more common. The statistics on older adults and pedestrian accidents reveal:
- Adults 75 and older are 6 percent of the population, but 12 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
- Adults 65 and older make up 12.6 percent of the population, and 21 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
- Indiana is ranked 41st in pedestrian accidents for adults 75 and older.
If you, your family member or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, it is critical that you connect with an injury lawyer to assist you with the legal actions necessary to recover compensatory damages. At Sevenish Law, our entire legal team is comprised of dedicated professionals that can help you seek justice and the maximum possible in compensation. Call now.
- Governor’s Highway Safety Administration: Spotlight On Highway Safety
- Indiana Government Codes: Pedestrians
- WTHR 13: Indianapolis Ranked Among Most Deadly Cities For Pedestrians
- Smart Growth America: Dangerous By Design