Pedestrian dangers abound in Tennessee

Drivers and passengers in motor vehicles can be involved in accidents resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities at any time. The risk to pedestrians of receiving severe consequences when involved in collisions can be even greater as people on foot have far less protection than people in cars or other vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than six and a half percent of all people who died in motor vehicle accidents in Tennessee in 2012 were pedestrians.

News stories abound

Sadly, news stories recounting collisions resulting in the personal injury or death of at least one person are easy to find. A quick online search provided a window into recent crashes involving pedestrians around the state, including the following:

  • The ABC affiliate WATE.com ran a story detailing an incident on Pellissippi Parkway on a rainy July morning in which a 27-year old pedestrian was killed when hit by a car.
  • Another pedestrian was injured in Madison when he stopped to pick up debris on the side of the road and was hit by a motorcyclist. According to the ABC WKRN.com report, the driver of the motorcycle was killed and the passenger was also injured.
  • According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, a 77-year old driver hit a 37-year old pedestrian as she was crossing North Central Street; the victim was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.

Whether crossing a street, walking through a parking lot or strolling along a sidewalk, people on foot are highly vulnerable when hit by cars, trucks or motorcycles.

The full picture in Tennessee

Full statistics from the NHTSA show that the state's three largest metropolitan areas have the highest rate of pedestrian deaths. However, this does not mean that pedestrians are always safe everywhere else as even one life lost is one too many, especially for the loved ones left behind.

Hamilton County had no recorded pedestrian deaths in 2012 while Marion and Bradley Counties each had one recorded pedestrian death. Davidson County led the state in pedestrian fatalities with 17 people losing their lives. This was followed by Shelby County and Knox County with 12 and six deaths, respectively. Pedestrian death counts in all other counties in the state were two or less.

Dangers around the nation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one pedestrian dies every other hour in the United States. The CDC further asserts that pedestrians are one and a half times more likely to die from car crash injuries than are people in automobiles.

What help is available?

People involved in pedestrian accidents should know that help is available to them. Seeking advice from an attorney as soon as possible after a crash is an important way to secure the right level of compensation due to victims.