Last year, thirty pedestrians were hit by cars in the capital city of Topeka, Kansas. Four of these pedestrian accident victims died. Recently, in an effort to promote pedestrian safety, the Topeka Police Department held a mock accident demonstration outside Highland Park High School.
The demonstration was initially shielded by multiple Topeka Metro buses, parked so as to obstruct the view of the accident scene. After the hundreds of Highland Park High School students took their seats, the buses pulled away, revealing an appalling scene. In the reenactment, two students were hit by a car while crossing the street. The driver of the automobile was texting and driving when he crashed into the crossing students, killing one and critically injuring the other. The blood on the scene was realistic and the ambulance sirens were authentic, as actual emergency personnel took part in the demonstration.
Students seemed to have received the message. High school senior Kameron Clark said that seeing the accident, rather than just talking about it, had a big impact. Another student, Andrew Jackson, stressed that the accident could happen to anyone. He hoped that everyone would learn from the demonstration to be more aware of their surroundings when both walking and driving.
The demonstration strikes close to home for many in the Topeka area, as there has been a rash of pedestrian accidents in recent years. In November, a Hayden High School student was hit by a car while using his phone. He was crossing at the intersection of 8th and Gage, and an oncoming vehicle failed to stop, critically injuring him. The student was hospitalized but thankfully recovered. Four other pedestrians in the Topeka area were not so lucky.
Pedestrian accidents in Kansas result from a variety of circumstances, but officers at the recent mock accident demonstration stressed the danger of distraction. Distraction comes in two forms when a pedestrian accident is involved:
- Driver Distraction: A study recently published by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the journal of U.S. Public Health found that distracted driving is the main cause for the rise in fatal pedestrian accidents. The study determined that distracted drivers were involved in 18.5% of all pedestrians accidents. In fact, one out of every 10 traffic fatalities is attributed to distracted driving.
- Distracted Walking: Distraction is a significant problem among pedestrians as well. Walking without paying attention to the road ahead is considered a major reason for the surge in pedestrian accidents. The use of cell phones and other mobile technologies is thought to be largely responsible for the increase in distracted walking, though the use of headphones has also played a large role.
Contact Kansas City Automobile Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in car accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas City Automobile Accident Attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. Car accidents are often caused by the negligence of at fault drivers. Driver distraction plays a role in a large number of accidents on the roadways today. Attorney Michael R. Lawless, P.A. will thoroughly investigate the facts surrounding your accident and uncover all potential avenues for recovery. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential auto accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.