In Alabama, walking has many benefits physically and financially. It can help people save money on gas, give them some form of exercise and it is also good for the environment. Still, despite those positives, there is always a risk that a person walking on the state roads can be hit by a motor vehicle. Since pedestrians are so vulnerable, there is a good chance they will suffer catastrophic injuries and potentially lose their lives if they are in a pedestrian-auto accident. This is a problem throughout the nation, but research shows that Alabama is among the worst states for pedestrians.
Study says Alabama behind only Florida in pedestrian danger
In a recent study from Smart Growth America, Alabama was second to Florida for the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians. In the decade from 2010 to 2019, there were more than 900 pedestrians killed on state roadways. Pedestrian safety has been an issue in recent years across the U.S., but some states are worse than others. In 2010, there were just over 4,300 pedestrian fatalities. By 2016, that had risen to 6,080 and stayed consistent through 2019 when there were 6,237 pedestrian deaths.
Birmingham was the 17th ranked area in the U.S. for dangerous pedestrian walkways. In coming to its conclusions, Smart Growth America used the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) among other numbers. Race and ethnicity was also important in the assessment. American Indians or Alaska Natives were the most commonly killed in a pedestrian accident. Next were Black people or African-Americans, followed by Latins, whites and Asian/Pacific-Islanders. Regarding age, people 75 and older were at the highest vulnerability followed by people age 50 to 64. Speeding is believed to be a major factor, but other possible causes are distraction, drowsiness and drivers failing to adhere to the law.
Financial and personal problems often accompany a pedestrian accident
When pedestrians are in motor vehicle accidents, there is a good chance it will result in a fatality. Even if the person survives, he or she may face exorbitant medical expenses, rehabilitation, long-term care and issues with returning to the way they were before the crash. It can place a personal and financial strain not just on the injured person, but on their family as well. After a pedestrian is killed in a collision, the family might not know how to proceed with any aspect of life. Before making an unwise decision and accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer, it may be wise to have legal advice. Professionals can assist with gathering evidence and determining a preferable way forward with a possible accident claim.