Crossing the street in some Michigan cities can be a hazardous undertaking when crosswalks are poorly marked or police fail to adequately enforce posted speed limits, and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that at least 65,000 pedestrians were injured on the nation's roads in 2014. The agency says that about 4,800 pedestrians are killed each year in the United States, and many of them lose their lives after being struck by a motor vehicle.
While police officers usually respond to serious auto-pedestrian accidents, experts who have studied hospital records say that many dangerous incidents involving vehicle and foot traffic go unreported. The injuries suffered by pedestrians are often debilitating, and they account for about 14 percent of all road deaths even though less than 11 percent of trips are made on foot.
Pedestrians with serious injuries have often been struck by a car or truck, but slips and trips caused by uneven sidewalks, cracked paving stones and loose curbs can also result in broken hips, skull fractures and catastrophic back injuries. Federal accident data reveals that almost three quarters of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban rather than rural areas, and almost a quarter of all pedestrians killed were making their trips between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. A little over a third of all pedestrians killed were found to be legally intoxicated, and California, Florida and Texas were the most dangerous states to make a journey on foot.
Many pedestrian accidents take place at busy intersections, and establishing a clear sequence of events is sometimes challenging for police officers. When witnesses are few and police reports do not provide compelling evidence of negligent behavior, personal injury attorneys representing accident victims may check the area for security or traffic cameras that may have recorded the events.