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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Pedestrian Accident / Factors That Make Pedestrian Accidents Deadly

Factors That Make Pedestrian Accidents Deadly


Even if safety is not the number one reason you choose to walk for fun, transportation, or exercise, you probably think that you are less likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash as a pedestrian. Not only is this assumption inaccurate, but statistics also reveal the dangers for people on foot around the Bay Area. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), more than 300 individuals are killed or injured in Oakland pedestrian accidents yearly, ranking #3 among the top largest 15 cities in California. Throughout Alameda County, there are around 765 casualties to people on foot, for a #6 rank among all counties in the state.

There are numerous factors that make collisions involving walkers extremely dangerous, some of which are obvious and others are less known. A few issues could even impact your legal rights if you were hurt in such an incident, which is why retaining an Oakland pedestrian accident attorney should be a priority. Some information on the hazards should help you understand why these incidents are so deadly. 

Size Differential

The average weight of a passenger vehicle is more than 4,150 pounds, and you do not need a science degree to know how the size differential means more serious, catastrophic injuries to the pedestrian. The victim’s body absorbs the brunt of the energy upon impact, leading to:

  • Concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI);
  • Bone fractures, particularly in the lower extremities;
  • Spinal cord, back, and neck injuries;
  • Amputation;
  • Whiplash and soft tissue injuries;
  • Herniated and bulging discs; and
  • Many other forms of trauma. 

Vehicle Speed

Even at lower speeds and in urban city centers, an automobile will be traveling faster than road users on foot. A pedestrian may not be quick enough to jump out of the way or otherwise avoid an accident when a motorized vehicle is hurtling at them. Speed also increases the force of the impact when a car strikes the walking victim.

 Secondary Impact

With pedestrian accidents, the victim will almost always suffer a secondary impact upon being struck, tossed in the air, and landing on a hard surface. This aftershock can often be as harmful or even more violent than the initial impact with the motorized vehicle.

 Lack of Safety Gear

A person on foot does not enjoy protection from a metal barrier like occupants of a moving vehicle. Other safety gear, like seatbelts and airbags, are obviously not present. Unlike when you hop on your bicycle, you do not put on a helmet to protect yourself when walking. You can counter the lack of safety gear and reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents by:

  • Wearing appropriate shoes;
  • Staying off your phone while walking near traffic;
  • Avoiding headphones for listening to music or videos; and,
  • Paying attention to traffic signage.

Our Oakland Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Will Tackle Legal Details 

If you were hurt while walking, you can rely on our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP to vigorously pursue your legal remedies. For more information, please contact us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA. We can advise you on the process after reviewing your circumstances.



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