Walking is great exercise. Not only does it help your heart, but it also gets you outdoors and in the Texas sunshine. Fitness trackers tell you how many steps you have left to reach the recommended 10,000 per day, and you may take advantage of your lunch hour or proximity to a friend’s house to get out and walk.
While you receive many benefits from walking, it may also be hazardous to your health. Pedestrians have few outdoor areas where they can walk without encountering motorized vehicles — an impact with which could cause serious injuries or death. A close call with a vehicle tends to remind you just how fragile life is and how vulnerable you are when walking.
Study results are not encouraging
While everyone encourages you to get out and walk, studies regarding vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents do not invoke confidence. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died in accidents involving a vehicle. That number represents a 46 percent increase since 2009. It also represents 16 percent of the fatalities in all crashes that year. Not only are these accidents happening more frequently, but they also inflict more damage than in the past.
Part of the reason for this is SUVs. The construction of these vehicles creates a wall of sorts that crashes into a pedestrian. This means that the torso or head takes the brunt of the impact. In the past, vehicles with lower profiles could hit the legs and the individual would end up on top of the vehicle instead of underneath it. Another factor is the increased horse power and weight of these vehicles.
The study found other factors as well. Most accidents take place in the dark and not at intersections, which also contributes to the force of the impact since drivers may not be slowing or able to see. In addition, many roadways lack an adequate number of areas for crossing. Pedestrians take their chances and cross without the protections afforded to them at intersections. A lack of sidewalks may also increase the danger.
You survived but suffered injuries
If your exercise turned into a trip to the hospital because a vehicle struck you, it could take you some time to recover from your injuries. In the meantime, you could sustain financial losses that jeopardize your ability to provide for you and your family. Under these circumstances, you may want to pursue compensation from the driver who struck you. Speak with a lawyer to learn about your legal options.