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What Percentage of Pedestrians Survive When Hit At 40 mph?


Research has shown that the survival rate of pedestrians struck by vehicles traveling at higher speeds decreases significantly. So, what percentage of pedestrians survive when hit at 40 mph?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, studies and statistical analyses show that the survival rate for pedestrians struck by a vehicle traveling at 42 mph is approximately 50%.

This figure paints a sobering picture of the devastating consequences of collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles at higher speeds. At 40 mph, the force of impact is substantial, significantly increasing the risk of severe injuries. 

The Effect of Speed on Pedestrian Survival Rate

Comparatively, the survival rate for pedestrians struck by vehicles traveling at higher speeds is considerably lower. For instance, for pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling at 50 mph there is a 25% survival rate and only a 10% survival rate if the vehicle is traveling at 58 mph. When drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions, they have less time to react to unexpected hazards, increasing the likelihood of striking pedestrians.

Lower speeds between 20 mph and 30 mph have a survival rate of 90% to 75%. This stark contrast underscores the critical role that vehicle speed plays in pedestrian safety and the potential lifesaving impact of reducing speeds on urban streets.

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Speeding

Drivers in New York can take several proactive measures to help prevent pedestrian accidents caused by speeding: 

Observe Speed Limits

Drivers should pay attention to speed limit signs and adjust their speed accordingly, especially in areas with high pedestrian activity, such as school zones, residential neighborhoods, and downtown areas.

Drive at a Safe and Prudent Speed

Even if the posted speed limit allows for higher speeds, drivers should use their judgment and adjust their speed based on road conditions, visibility, and the presence of pedestrians. Slowing down in areas with heavy foot traffic or limited visibility can help drivers react more quickly to unexpected hazards and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Stay Alert and Vigilant

Remaining attentive behind the wheel is essential for detecting pedestrians and potential hazards on the road. Drivers should avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other activities that take their attention away from driving. 

Yield to Pedestrians

Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians even if they technically have the right of way. 

Pedestrian Accident Victims’ Rights in New York

Pedestrian accident victims have the right to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. This compensation can help cover the costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and other losses incurred as a result of the accident.

No-Fault Benefits

New York operates under a no-fault insurance system for car accidents, including pedestrian accidents. This means that the speeding driver’s insurer is responsible for your damages regardless of who was at fault for the collision. 

Personal Injury Claims

If your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury” threshold, you also have the right to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and any other liable parties for additional compensation. An injury qualifies as serious by state law if you suffer:

  • Permanent loss of a bodily organ;
  • Permanent loss of a bodily function or system;
  • A temporary disability lasting longer than 90 days;
  • Loss of a fetus;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Dismemberment; or, 
  • Death. 

Wrongful Death Claims

When a pedestrian is killed as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, surviving family members can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. 

Speak to a Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak to a trusted White Plains personal injury attorney today. We can help you with understanding your rights and legal options to recover the compensation you deserve.