In a recent study conducted by Georgetown University, researchers discovered that wheelchair users are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
Additionally, the study indicated that more than 50 percent of all wheelchair-bound pedestrian accidents happen at intersections.
The study also revealed that more than one third of wheelchair-bound pedestrians will experience a car-pedestrian accident in their lifetime. This number has increased over the past five years, as Ohio has recently seen an increase in all pedestrian-related accidents.
More Alarming Study Results
Combining data from news stories about vehicle fatalities with information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Fatality Analysis Reporting System, Georgetown researchers came to a startling conclusion regarding the number of wheelchair pedestrian deaths.
Over 500 wheelchair-bound pedestrians died in traffic crashes between 2006 and 2012. This statistic indicates that persons confined to a wheelchair have a 36 percent higher risk of death by car crash than other pedestrians.
Also, the study found that men were five times more likely to die than women in wheelchair pedestrian collisions.
In four of the ten cases studies by researchers, pedestrians in wheelchairs were more likely to be involved in an accident at an intersection where traffic was not well controlled.
Because a large percentage of collisions took place at intersections without crosswalks or traffic controls, a relationship between lack of pedestrian safety and fatal vehicle-pedestrian accidents is likely.
For example, if there are no sidewalks, wheelchair-bound people may have to travel on the street alongside traffic, which puts them at a higher risk for being hit by a vehicle.
Other factors such as poor lighting may also contribute to fatal crashes.
In approximately three-quarters of the collisions studied by researchers, drivers made no attempt to stop or steer away from the wheelchair-bound pedestrian. This may infer that drivers did not see wheelchair users due to height, speed and location.
The results of this study point to a greater need for wheelchair-bound pedestrian safety, as well as stricter rules and regulations to help protect disabled pedestrians, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you or your loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a Cincinnati injury attorney from the law offices of O’Connor, Acciani and Levy today to schedule your free consultation today.