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How serious are pedestrian accidents in the U.S.?

Pedestrian safety is something everyone needs to consider when on the roads. As unfortunate as it is, drivers who are distracted or under the influence when driving have a higher risk of injuring pedestrians, and that puts lives at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps tabs on pedestrian accidents in the United States each year, and with the most recent update covering the year 2012, you can see how pedestrian accidents impact the country.

For example, in 2012, there were 4,743 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. While that may only represent a small town's worth of people in a country with thousands more, the fatalities only represent some of the people impacted by these incidents. In the same year, 76,000 people were injured in pedestrian accidents, and thousands of others faced the stress and anxiety of knowing a loved one, friend, or family member was hurt or killed in an accident.

The people most at risk are children and older adults. Consider this: Each day, millions of school children walk to school from home. While many reach their destinations without issue, others are injured or killed in traffic-related incidents. In 2012, one in every five people between 5 and 15 years old who were killed in a traffic crash were pedestrians at the time of the incident.

Older adults also have a higher risk of being injured. Those over the age of 65 accounted for 20 percent of the pedestrian deaths that took place in 2012, showing how dangerous the roads can be for the elderly. The same age group represented approximately 9 percent of those injured in traffic-related pedestrian accidents in the same year.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pedestrian Safety," accessed April. 16, 2015

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