Georgetown researchers recently found that pedestrian wheelchair users are 36 percent more likely to be hit and killed by cars than non-wheelchair pedestrians. The study also revealed more than 50 percent of these fatalities happened in intersections.
Researchers compiled data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Fatality Analysis Reporting System, along with news stories related to fatal vehicle collisions. Using this information, they were able to estimate the wheelchair pedestrian fatality figure.
From 2006-2012, there were around 528 wheelchair user fatalities in traffic collisions. This number equates to a 36 percent spike in deaths for wheelchair pedestrians. Men, ages 50 to 64, were found to have a fatality rate five times higher than women in the same age bracket.
Nearly half of the wheelchair pedestrian accidents occurred in intersections and traffic did not appear to be controlled well in four of ten cases.
Many collisions happened where there were no traffic controls or crosswalks. Traffic lights, crossing signals, and clearly painted crosswalk lines on the road help warn drivers of pedestrians.
In three-quarters of the crashes, drivers did not attempt to stop or move away from the wheelchair pedestrian. This may suggest wheelchair pedestrians were not visible to drivers, possibly due to speed, location and height.
Drivers may not expect wheelchair using pedestrians to be in certain areas near busy highways or crossing them.
Study results indicate a need for greater disabled pedestrian safety. Communities should take into account the Americans with Disabilities Acts requirements when designing roads and sidewalks.
If you or a loved one were injured after being hit by car, contact the experienced car accident attorneys in the Knoxville office of Greg Coleman Law today. Our injury attorneys will fight to get you the justice you deserve.
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