Pedestrians are much smaller and slower moving compared to motor vehicles. Unlike drivers or passengers inside cars, pedestrians are fully exposed and lack safety features such as seat belts or airbags.
The force of impact can result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over 7,000 pedestrians die each year in the United States. More than 60,000 pedestrians sustain injuries.
Being hit by a car as a pedestrian can result in various injuries. Many of them range from minor to severe and debilitating. The most common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Fractures: Pedestrian accidents often result in broken bones. This can include fractures in the arms, legs, hips, or spine.
- Head injuries: Pedestrians are at risk of severe head injuries. This can occur when pedestrians hit their heads on a windshield or the ground. Common pedestrian head injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, and contusions.
- Soft tissue injuries: Pedestrians may experience sprains, strains, and tears in ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These injuries can lead to pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
- Spinal cord injuries: Severe pedestrian accidents can result in spinal cord injuries. This can lead to partial or complete paralysis. These injuries require immediate medical attention and long-term rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries: Pedestrians can sustain internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. These can include damage to organs, internal bleeding, or ruptured blood vessels.
- Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions: Pedestrians may sustain cuts, deep lacerations, or abrasions from contact with a vehicle or the road surface. Depending on the severity, stitches or surgical intervention may be necessary.