Pedestrian caution urged in Orleans Parish

Automobile accidents are an unfortunate reality of life on the road. Whether driving a motorcycle, car, truck, SUV or large commercial vehicle, the risk of being involved in an accident is always present. Pedestrians as well face these risks in New Orleans and, when injured in a collision, people on foot often suffer serious injuries or may even die.

High rate of pedestrian deaths in Orleans Parish

Pedestrian accidents were the cause of 25 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in Orleans Parish in 2012. This is based upon data supplied by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additional 2012 data shows the following:

  • In all of Louisiana, 722 people died in motor vehicle accidents.
  • In Orleans Parish, 28 people died in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Statewide, over 16 percent of automotive fatalities were pedestrians.
  • In Orleans Parish, 25 percent of automotive fatalities were pedestrians.
  • Orleans Parish accounted for 3.8 percent of all vehicular fatalities in Louisiana and nearly six percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

Deaths from pedestrian accidents outnumbered those from motorcycle accidents in Louisiana with 118 pedestrians losing their lives compared to 78 motorcyclists. Orleans Parish had the fourth highest death rate among pedestrians of all parishes in the county. Jefferson led the way with 12 deaths followed by East Baton Rouge and Calcasieu with 11 and eight, respectively.

The national view

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's statistics from 2010 report 4,280 pedestrian deaths in the United States. That means that nationally, one pedestrian dies roughly every two hours. Additionally, they indicate that a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely to die in a vehicle accident than a vehicle passenger.

The NHTSA's records indicate that both 2010 and 2011 saw an increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities over the prior years. The death toll rose to 4,432 in 2011 from a total of 69,000 pedestrian crashes in all. Nearly 16 percent of all pedestrian accident victims that year were less than 15 years old.

Can pedestrians be safe?

Certainly there are some measures that pedestrians can take to reduce their chance of being involved in an accident. These include crossing streets in designated crosswalks, increasing visibility by wearing reflective or brightly colored clothing and obeying all traffic signals.

However, despite the best efforts of people on foot, accidents can and will continue to occur. When this happens, victims should remember that they have a right to compensation for their experiences. Working with an attorney is always recommended for people who have been involved in pedestrian accidents as it can help to achieve the proper results.