Orlando Injury Law Blog

Pedestrian Accident Report Provides Misleading Picture

Monday, January 23, 2012

A new report linking an increased number of pedestrian fatalities to the growing use of headphones and personal music systems by pedestrians, offers a misleading picture of the causes of pedestrian fatalities. The report by researchers at the University of Maryland in dramatic fashion headlines the three-time increase in pedestrian accident fatalities involving the use of headphones while walking. This seems to Orlando pedestrian accident lawyers a reflection of the growing tendency to blame pedestrians for accidents.

As the report so dramatically states, there were 108 fatalities involving pedestrians using headphones during an eight-year period between 2000 2009. During the same time, there had been a total of 47,700 pedestrians killed in the United States. So, the number of the pedestrians who had been using headphones at the time of the accident, is just about .3%.

That's hardly a figure to get excited about, unless you believe that all accidents involving pedestrians are caused by the person walking at the time.

The report has been widely cited in the media, and that is very disturbing to Orlando car accident lawyers, because the report seems to be content to point fingers at the victim, in this case pedestrians. The number of pedestrians killed in 2011 increased slightly over the previous year. That increase has not come about because more numbers of pedestrians are now walking about with headphones. That increase was the result of an environment of diminishing safety for pedestrians, marked by poor transportation safety initiatives for pedestrians, low awareness of pedestrian safety, and a tendency to brush aside pedestrians’ rights.

What the researchers need to do is find out why more pedestrians died in 2011, and what we could be doing to keep them safer, instead of pointing fingers at victims.

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