A fourteen-year-old Syracuse boy was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City recently after being struck while in a crosswalk and pinned under an SUV. The boy suffered head injuries and was listed in critical condition after initial treatment but was later reported to be recovering well. The driver who ran into him remained at the scene. It’s not clear whether any charges will be filed.
The crash, on the afternoon of October 22, happened as the boy was riding his bike through a crosswalk. The twenty-eight-year-old driver of the SUV made a right turn and claims he did not see the boy before striking him.
Pedestrians (and others not in cars, such as cyclists) are far from immune to crashes. Data from the Utah Department of Public Safety show that, in a typical year, the state averages more than 770 pedestrian injuries and thirty-three deaths.
The number, and the proportion of pedestrian accidents overall, has been on the rise over most of the past decade. Of course, when a pedestrian is in a crash with a motor vehicle of any kind, the pedestrian is far more likely to suffer. Even though pedestrians are caught up in fewer than 2 percent of all accidents, they make up more than 14 percent of all fatal crash victims.
The young victim in the Syracuse crash was not wearing his bicycle helmet at the time of the crash, which his father scolded him about in a later press appearance. While the boy’s injuries were ultimately not life-threatening, riding without a helmet is a risky proposition.
No safety device can completely eliminate the risk of serious injury or death, but studies referenced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by at least 60 percent. The risk of fatality is reduced by around 70 percent.
That’s a big shift in the odds (in your favor), but the difference might be even greater—all that research is from the 1980s and ‘90s, and helmet technology has improved since then.
We’re starting to wonder whether Syracuse is some kind of pedestrian crash hot spot. In addition to the late October crash, a December 2015 crash killed another teen only a few hundred feet away. In April of this year, a high school student died after he was hit by a car in a crosswalk and thrown into the path of a second vehicle.
If you or a family member have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, get in touch with Craig Swapp & Associates. Our experienced attorneys understand what’s involved in all aspects of automobile accident law, including pedestrian accident cases.
We offer every client a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Complete the form below or give us a call at 1-800-404-9000.