Oklahoma City is a great place to live with plenty of things to see and do. And residents have many modes of transportation to choose from as they travel to work, to school, or the store. Some choose to walk to their destinations. Some become pedestrians when they park and get out to walk into stores and restaurants.
But as pedestrians, they can face life-threatening risks when forced to cross multiple lanes of traffic. These trips are often made in front of careless and downright reckless drivers. When mistakes are made, defenseless pedestrians suffer devastating and life-threatening injuries.
Ylla|Gosney Attorneys at Law wanted to spotlight recent pedestrian accident numbers to serve as a reminder to all local motorists. Pedestrians are the least protected people using roadways and far too many of them get hurt each year on Oklahoma City Streets. Hopefully, a look at the toll pedestrian collisions take on local victims can convince OKC drivers to pay attention and slow down.
Oklahoma Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents aren’t just a local problem. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated that over 7,500 pedestrians were killed on our nation’s roadways in 2022. Researchers say that’s the highest number of victims in 40 years. The figure from 2022 equated to about 20 pedestrian deaths a day.
Data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) showed that the state saw an increase in accidents involving pedestrians from 2019 to 2021. Traffic researchers await official 2022 numbers from Oklahoma authorities and will be looking into 2023 figures to see if the trend has continued.
This is a look at the extreme toll pedestrian accidents have taken on our state in recent years:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 13% of Oklahoma’s 2021 traffic fatality victims were pedestrians. The national average was at around 17%.
The NHTSA placed Oklahoma’s 2021 pedestrian fatalities at around 104 for the year. That was on the lower end when comparing all 50 states but was still high when considering Oklahoma’s population. California led the nation in pedestrian deaths with over 1,100 tragic cases. Florida and Texas recorded over 800 pedestrian tragedies each.
Discouraging Pedestrian Accident Figures for Oklahoma City
As we move into 2024, the statistics will have to be updated, but through 2021, the trend for pedestrian crashes has not been going in the right direction for Oklahoma City.
OHSO accident dashboard numbers show that 2021 brought with it the most accidents involving pedestrians over the past five years in the city. That’s after a major dip during the pandemic year of 2020 when there were fewer cars on the roads. 2021 saw 250 pedestrian accidents reported in Oklahoma City. At least 54 victims reported serious injuries.
Oklahoma City leads the state in pedestrian accidents which is expected since it’s the most populated place in the state. Tulsa, by comparison, recorded 186 accidents involving those on foot in 2021.
Tragic pedestrian fatalities did not improve on Oklahoma City streets either. The city averaged around 23 pedestrian deaths a year over five years. 2021 figures marked a return to over 25 deaths on OKC streets.
Intoxicated Drivers Hitting Pedestrians
Drunk drivers are a deadly threat to everyone on Oklahoma City interstates and streets. Unprotected pedestrians are most at risk. Drivers who are under the influence may not have the presence of mind to spot pedestrians in a crosswalk. They may also lack the awareness to slam on the brakes before hitting someone on foot, only making the consequences more severe.
Authorities across the state of Oklahoma recorded 25 pedestrian crashes involving a drunk driver in 2021. Despite social media campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving and frequent checkpoints, drunk drivers in OKC still end up striking several victims each year.
Too Many Pedestrian Hit-And-Run Accidents in Oklahoma City
Hit-and-run drivers are a particularly frightening hazard for pedestrians in Oklahoma City. They can strike a vulnerable pedestrian and race away. This often leaves the victim and the victim’s family responsible for the cost of medical bills and in the most extreme case, the expense of a funeral.
But the consequences go far beyond financial hardships. A hit-and-run motorist can leave a victim on the road in the path of other unsuspecting drivers. If 911 isn’t contacted immediately, victims also wait longer for life-saving medical care.
The state of Oklahoma recorded 212 hit-and-run pedestrian accidents in 2021. Oklahoma City saw a spike in the same type of pedestrian collisions in 2021. With an average of 71 incidents a year over a five-year span, 2021 saw at least 95 cases across the city.
Seeking Improvement for Oklahoma City Pedestrians
Highlighting the troubling numbers for pedestrians in our city won’t be enough to stop the tragedies that affect local victims, their families, and the OKC community. City leaders will need to establish safer crosswalks and put in new footbridges and footpaths that remove pedestrians from traffic completely.
Oklahoma City Police will need to continue to crack down on reckless drivers to protect everyone who uses local streets.
Unfortunately, drivers will continue to hit defenseless pedestrians. When these heartbreaking accidents occur, it’s critical that victims receive the support they need to make full recoveries as quickly as possible. A skilled Oklahoma City Pedestrian Accident Lawyer can help you seek justice and compensation after a collision. Please contact us to schedule a free case consultation if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury.