Archive for the ‘Pedestrian Accidents’ Category

Preventing Child Pedestrian Injuries in San Antonio

Texas is second only to California in the number of pedestrian deaths that occur within the state. NBC reports that in 2012, there were 478 pedestrian deaths in the state of Texas. Nationwide, the number of pedestrian fatalities hit a five-year high after increasing each year since 2009.

Pedestrian accident lawyers in San Antonio know that children and the elderly are at the greatest risk of being injured or killed in such collisions. Taking steps to prevent pedestrian accidents is essential, and a report in the Journal of TRAUMA® Injury, Infection and Critical Care summarized some of the steps that have been taken over the years to try to reduce the number of children killed in pedestrian-vehicle collisions.

Reducing Pediatric Pedestrian Injuries

Efforts to reduce pediatric pedestrian injuries date back decades. In the 1950s, a program was used in the United Kingdom that has been called the “Kerb Method.” Children were asked to recite rules military-style so they could memorize safety tips for walking and crossing the road. The simple rules developed for children during the 1950s, called the Green Cross Code, are still taught to and used by British children today.

Education is a good step towards keeping children safe from pedestrian collisions, however it is not enough. In fact, in the late 1980s, the World Health Organization (WHO) released studies demonstrating that there were several essential aspects to any pedestrian safety program effective at reducing the risk of collisions.

The WHO dubbed the three essential elements of pedestrian safety programs as the “Three E’s.” This stands for education, engineering and enforcement.

Education should extend not just to children but to parents and to drivers as well. Children between the ages of five and 14 are especially vulnerable, and both boys and African-American children are at the greatest risk of being killed in a pedestrian crash. Parents and kids need to be aware of risk factors, of where accidents happen and of how they can be prevented. Urban and residential streets, for example, are places with a high number of childhood pedestrian accident fatalities and most crashes involving children and motor vehicles occur in the early evening.

Engineering and enforcement focus on designing safe roads, and passing and enforcing laws designed to increase the safety of children who are walking on those roads. An organization founded in 1987 called the Safe Kids program lobbies for laws to change environments in as many as 150 different cities, and the organization has been effective at helping to encourage lawmakers to make roads safer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also believe that behavioral evaluation and skills training should be essential parts of pedestrian safety programs.

When comprehensive efforts are made to educate the public on safety and to make the roads safer, lives can be saved.

Contact a San Antonio accident lawyer at the Herrera Law Firm. Call 800-455-1054 for a free case consultation.

San Antonio Senior Injured in Pedestrian Accident

According to My San, a 77-year-old man was struck by a car when he was crossing West Cypress Street. The man was in his wheelchair at the time when he cross the Maverick Street Intersection and was hit by a compact car going east down West Cypress. The driver of the vehicle reportedly failed to see the man who was crossing. Fortunately, the elderly gentlemen survived the incident but was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Our San Antonio car accident lawyers know that there are thousands of fatal pedestrian accidents each year and even more wrecks that cause injury. Unfortunately, the man who was struck in the San Antonio intersection fell into one of two groups in the greatest danger of being hit by a car and injured: senior citizens.

Pedestrian Accident Risks For Senior Citizens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides important information regarding the pedestrian accident risk to seniors. Pedestrians aged 65 and up accounted for as many as 19 percent of the 4,280 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2010. Seniors within this age group also accounted for a total of 11 percent of the 70,000 pedestrians who sustained serious injury.

Seniors and children, especially those between the ages of five and nine, are the two demographic groups most likely to be hurt or killed in a pedestrian-motorist wreck. Unfortunately, an article in US News & Health earlier this year indicated that the number of traffic-related death rates for senior pedestrians aged 75 and older was more than double the rate of those aged 34 and under.

Senior citizens are not only more likely than those in other age groups to be killed, but are also more likely to sustain serious life-changing injuries. Seniors, for example, may be more prone to suffer hip fractures and other bone fractures when involved in a car wreck. When a senior suffers a hip fracture, the recovery period is long and a large percentage of elderly people are never again able to live outside of an assisted or independent living facility after sustaining a hip fracture.

The recent San Antonio accident involving the elderly 77-year-old man who was injured in the intersection is a perfect example of why older adults may be more likely to be involved in pedestrian wrecks. The motorist who hit the older pedestrian reported that he simply did not see the man in his wheelchair.   A motorist in a wheelchair is lower to the ground, making him more difficult for drivers to spot and thus increasing the chances of a pedestrian accident occurring.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a free case evaluation.

Fatal San Antonio Pedestrian Accidents has Authorities Urging Caution

Four people died in three days last week in a string of pedestrian accidents in San Antonio.

The Express-News reports a woman was killed Thursday as she attempted to cross U.S. 90 during rush hour. The accident occurred near the Hunt Lane exit shortly after 7 a.m. An approaching truck saw the woman and was able to slow down; but a following car drove out and around the truck and struck the victim, according to authorities. The driver of the truck never stopped but may not have been aware that an accident occurred, San Antonio police reported.

San Antonio personal injury attorneys know many of these accidents involve a driver who is distracted, fails to yield the right of way, or is otherwise negligent. However, in three of the cases last week, police say the driver will not be charged. And authorities are urging pedestrians to remain alert and to obey all traffic laws.

On Tuesday, a 90-year-old woman was killed crossing Fredericksburg Road in her motorized wheel chair; she was on her way from a bus stop to an adult day care. That same day, an unidentified homeless man was struck in a parking lot by an F-150. Police are still searching for the driver in that case. Also Tuesday, a 47-year-old woman was killed on I-35 after being struck by an 18-wheeler and numerous other vehicles. The truck driver in that case also did not stop.

“(D)rinking, walking in the dark without light-colored or reflective clothing, walking facing the wrong direction and failing to look for or use a marked crosswalk,” are common reasons cited for pedestrian accidents, according to Scott Ericksen, of the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 4,200 people are killed and 70,000 seriously injured in pedestrian accidents each year. In 2010, Texas pedestrian accidents claimed 345 lives. Only Florida and California reported more deaths.

NBC News reports pedestrian distractions are a more common occurrence with the advent of smartphones. In New York City, where half of all fatal accidents involve pedestrians, a pilot safety campaign is painting eyes in crosswalks and at bus stops, encouraging pedestrians and motorists alike to pay attention to where they are going. While pedestrians typically have the right of way, that will be of little consolation in the event of a serious or fatal accidents.

As we see in several of these cases, hit-and-run drivers are frequently responsible for these crashes and may face serious felony charges if caught and convicted. However, of more practical importance to the family dealing with the serious or fatal injury to a loved one, is paying for medical care and recovering compensation for lost wages. The absence of an at-fault driver can make seeing such compensation a critical and complex process. In other cases, the driver may lack insurance or have a policy that is not adequate enough to cover the damages. These uninsured/underinsured motorist cases must also be handled by an experienced personal injury and wrongful death law firm.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.