Skip to Main Content

Why pedestrian crashes are so devastating for the person hurt

Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death among most age groups in the United States. They are also a top cause of serious injury. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and fractures are all possible when vehicles collide.

Certain kinds of crashes are far worse than others. A collision between vehicles of vastly different sizes can be particularly worrisome for the people in the smaller vehicle. A pedestrian crash with any kind of motor vehicle could lead to devastating injuries for the person on foot.

Why are pedestrian crashes among the worst that occur?

There is nothing to protect the pedestrian’s body

Your vehicle protects you in two ways during a collision. Obviously, it helps keep you in place with restraints. Vehicle manufacturers spend millions of dollars designing systems intended to reduce the severity of the injuries that occupants suffer during high-speed collisions.

The vehicle also protects you by absorbing the force of the collision itself. A pedestrian has nothing but their own body to absorb the force of impact. The faster the speed of the vehicle that strikes the pedestrian, the more likely they are to suffer broken bones, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. At speeds of 58 miles per hour or more, pedestrians have a more than 90% chance of dying.

The size of the vehicle is also a major consideration. A commercial truck is so much bigger than a standard car that it can cause catastrophic injuries at lower speeds.

What protects pedestrians?

The law generally protects pedestrians after collisions with motor vehicles. In many cases, drivers will be to blame when they strike pedestrians, unless the pedestrian did something obviously unsafe, like stepping directly out into traffic in front of a vehicle.

Pedestrians may be able to file an insurance claim using the coverage carried by the person who hit them. Unfortunately, catastrophic injuries might cost thousands of dollars more than the basic insurance most drivers carry will pay. Pedestrians may also need to explore civil litigation when a driver was negligent or broke the law and then hurt them.

If the pedestrian who got hurt carries motor vehicle insurance, they may have protection, like uninsured motorist coverage, that applies in the event of a pedestrian crash. Both pedestrians injured by unsafe drivers and families grieving a fatal pedestrian crash may have the right to file insurance claims and civil lawsuits against unsafe drivers.

Knowing you can take action after a pedestrian crash could help you secure justice for your losses.