Bloomberg | November 19, 2015
A new study out of Georgetown University has filled in part of that gap, and the results are troubling. The findings suggest that pedestrian wheelchair users are a third more likely to be killed in a road accident than the general public is. The study, published in BMJ Open, also found that in more than 75 percent of crashes that involve a wheelchair user, no “crash avoidance maneuver” by the driver—like braking or steering—was recorded.
“This gets back to basic city design: How do we design places in ways that make it safe for pedestrians to use them?” says John Kraemer, an epidemiologist and lawyer at Georgetown with a special interest in road safety for vulnerable users, and the study’s lead author. “What we really don’t want is [for] a person who’s using a wheelchair or has a disability to choose between not being able to access their community or having to do it in a dangerous way.”