There’s no doubt that all pedestrian accidents have the potential to yield some devastating consequences, but it turns out that wheelchair users may be the ones facing the most serious injuries. A recent research study shows just how dangerous these accidents can be.
Pedestrians in wheelchairs were 36 percent more likely to suffer fatal injuries in pedestrian crashes, and men had a risk five times what females did.
According to data analyzed by individuals at the Department of Health Systems Administration at Georgetown University, there’s not a clear indication from the report as to why wheelchair users are so much more vulnerable, but there are some suggested elements for the higher risk.
First of all, wheelchair users may not react or move in the way that other pedestrians or cyclists do, which is why it’s worth urban planners considering how to effectively design sidewalks.
Second, it’s also harder for some drivers to see wheelchair users. Since wheelchair users are not always easy for drivers to spot ahead of time, the individual in the chair may be hit at a higher speed because the driver has not slowed down or braked early enough. Being thrown from the wheelchair can lead to severe injuries, too, particularly if the road where the accident happens is a busy street.
Third, being closer to the ground means that a wheelchair user is more likely to be hit head-on. Individuals who already have pre-existing medical conditions may be facing even more severe outcomes in a pedestrian accident.
Have you already been injured in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence? You have rights. Set up a meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more.