Pedestrian accidents in the United States have been described as a “silent epidemic” as the number of victims continues to increase year after year, reaching record levels. Almost 7,000 people are killed each year in pedestrian collisions, with another 100,000 brought to emergency rooms suffering serious non-fatal injuries.
Here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the safety of pedestrians is a growing concern due to the troubling trends in the frequency and regularity of accidents involving motorists injuring people crossing the street or simply traversing a sidewalk. In the past seven years, more than 11,000 pedestrians were struck and injured by drivers in Virginia, and nearly 900 pedestrians killed. Pedestrian accident deaths reached a record high last year. Even more alarming is that Virginia is on track for that record to be broken in 2022.
The Virginia Beach personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp wanted to gain a better understanding of where pedestrians were at the highest risk of injuries by motorists with the goal of informing the public and, hopefully, reducing the frequency of such pedestrian accidents. The law firm invested time and resources into thoroughly examining seven years’ worth of Virginia pedestrian accident data.
The law firm then partnered with a data visualization firm, 1Point21 Interactive, to create an interactive Virginia map that highlights each area in Virginia where pedestrians are most frequently injured by motorists. The map was created using data collected from the Virginia Department of Transportation on pedestrian accidents that occurred between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2022. The zone analysis in the overall study grouped pedestrian crashes that occurred within 250 feet of one another.
Take a moment to view an interactive map illustrating the areas that present the highest risk of injury to pedestrians in Virginia.
General Observations from Seven Years of Accident Data
The accident data examined by the team with Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp indicated that accidents between a motorist and pedestrians are much more likely to occur at intersections and are much more likely to cause serious injury or death.
Nineteen percent of pedestrian collisions during the study’s timeframe resulted in serious injuries or death, compared to just 8 percent of non-pedestrian crashes. Pedestrian crashes are also much more likely to be alcohol related. Approximately 16 percent of pedestrian collisions involved alcohol, while just 5 percent of all other motor vehicle crashes did.
The Most Dangerous Areas in Virginia for Pedestrians
Based on the in-depth analysis conducted, a large majority of the top 20 most dangerous areas for pedestrians appear to be in proverbial “hot spots” in Northern Virginia’s Arlington County and the Richmond area, the capital of Virginia. Specifically, eight areas within Arlington County feature disturbingly high percentage of pedestrian accidents while six areas can be found in and around downtown Richmond. One of the top 20 dangerous pedestrian zones is an area of Pacific Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The interactive map allows pinpoint accuracy on the number of pedestrian injuries or deaths at each danger zone in the last seven years.
About Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
Since 1985, the personal injury lawyers with Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have dedicated their practice to helping people seriously harmed in preventable accidents. The firm focuses exclusively on plaintiff’s personal injury law, including representing pedestrians who were hit and injured by motorists. The firm is rated as one of the “Best Law Firms in America” by U.S. News & World Report and the attorneys with the firm are recognized as Virginia “Super Lawyers” by Thomson Reuters.
Company Name: Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
Contact Person: Kerry O'Donnell
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Country: United States