West Virginia researcher says male pedestrians at higher risk than women

New research shows that men are two times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in a pedestrian accident than women. A researcher with the West Virginia University School of Public Health an Injury Control Research Center spearheaded the study. Researchers looked at data recorded in the United States 2008 and 2009. Worldwide, more than 1.2 million people are killed in traffic accidents and in the United States 12 percent of all traffic fatalities involve a pedestrian.

Some studies have previously suggested a higher risk of death for male pedestrians. However, few studies reportedly have been conducted that have looked deeply into the associated factors that may increase the risk of death, according to the lead researcher from West Virginia.

In seeking to discern what may lead to the apparent higher risk of death for men, the researchers looked to see whether distance traveled could be a factor. However, research shows that on average males and females walk about the same distances each day overall. But data earlier studies have suggested that males seemed to have had a slightly greater risk of death when involved in a pedestrian accident.

The recent study showed that men are roughly 2.3 times more likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident when compared to their female counterparts. The lead researcher says that more scientific inquiry is needed to explain the greater apparent risk.

While the research focused solely on fatal injuries, it is important to note that any pedestrian can be at risk for serious injury. People are no match for an automobile or other form of vehicle. Although the studies suggest that men can be at higher risk, women are obviously not safe in an accident.

While the speed of the vehicle in any pedestrian accident can be a factor in the degree of injury a victim may suffer, it is also important to note that other hazards exist for pedestrians.

The impact of the vehicle can cause broken bones, internal injuries, head injuries and more. Similarly, the accident victim can be thrown into other objects that can cause serious injuries or death, such as the pavement, curbs, road signs and other hazards near an accident scene.