Pedestrians are some of the most at-risk individuals on the roads. Depending on the speed of the driver, it's possible that a pedestrian could walk away from a crash or end up with life-threatening injuries.
There are a few factors that determine how serious a pedestrian's injuries are going to be. Here's a little more about the science of a car crash and what it could mean if you're hit as a pedestrian.
What factors impact a pedestrian crash?
There are a few factors that impact the crash. These include:
- Angle of impact
Each one has its own influence on the injuries the pedestrian suffers. For example, a child or elderly person is more likely to suffer serious injuries in a pedestrian crash. Why? Children are so small that they may get hit by the car's bumper and then pushed under the vehicle. Taller people are more likely to roll up onto the vehicle, which could reduce the likelihood of getting run over. With the elderly, their inability to heal well combined with a generally more fragile state makes it more likely for them to suffer serious wounds.
The weight of pedestrians has not been studied in depth, but it has been shown that a heavier vehicle is more likely to cause greater force and impact. That equals a higher chance of serious injury. Similarly, the height of the vehicle makes a difference in the risk of the pedestrian being thrown onto the vehicle or run over.
Speed is a significant factor in crashes. At 17.1 mph, the risk of injury is 10 percent, for example. However, by the time a vehicle travels at 48.1 mph, the risk of a serious injury is approximately 90 percent. Deaths are reached at slightly higher speeds. The risk of death is 10 percent at 24.1 mph, whereas the risk of death is 90 percent once the driver is traveling at 54.6 mph.
Keep in mind that other factors play a role in injury, so an elderly person might be hit by an automobile traveling 10 mph more slowly than that same vehicle hitting a young, healthy mid-20-something, and thw elder would be more likely to be hurt or killed than the person in their 20s.
Angle of impact also plays a role, although it's less important. However, the way a pedestrian is hit could be the difference between internal injuries, head injuries or broken bones, with different injuries having a varying rate of recovery.