Fatal pedestrian accident rate in Vancouver highest in Canada

Vancouver pedestrian fatalities are the highest in Canada, with pedestrians unfairly blamed for many accidents.

Vancouver is a great city to walk and bike in thanks to its mild climate and overall walkability. However, as Business in Vancouver reports, the popularity of walking and cycling in Vancouver has also helped make it one of the deadliest cities in the country for pedestrians. The rate of fatal pedestrian accidents in Vancouver is currently the highest in Canada and twice that of Toronto. What's worse is that many pedestrians and cyclists who are hurt in accidents are often unfairly assumed to be at fault for them and often don't know what sort of compensation they can claim through ICBC.

High pedestrian accident rate

As stated above, Vancouver's fatal pedestrian accident rate is the highest in Canada. In fact, in the City of Vancouver alone, there were as many people killed in pedestrian accidents (11) as there were victims of homicides. Older people are especially vulnerable to being struck and killed by a driver, with 61 percent of deceased pedestrians aged 50 and over.

Vancouver has committed itself to reducing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities under its Transportation 2040 Plan, which will see an increase in bike lanes and redesigned street infrastructure. As CBC News reports, the city is considering reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h on more municipal roads. That reduction could save many lives since the chance of a pedestrian surviving an accident where the motorist is driving 30 km/h is 90 percent, compared to a survival rate of between 15 and 20 percent if the driver is going 50 km/h.

Pedestrians unfairly blamed

Pedestrians should know that they can pursue compensation through ICBC if they have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, even if they do not have ICBC insurance themselves. However, making an ICBC claim can sometimes be challenging for pedestrians, especially since the insurer often starts from the assumption that the pedestrian or cyclist was the one responsible for the accident.

This assumption is not only unfair to the injured party, but it is also often factually wrong. About 40 percent of pedestrian deaths occur at intersections, and among those two-thirds were crossing on a green light. In other words, in many cases a pedestrian has the right of way but it is the driver who fails to yield. In fact, in a number of European countries liability laws were changed so that cyclists and pedestrians were automatically assumed to be not at fault in accidents. That change led to the injury and fatality rate for pedestrians and cyclists dropping by 70 percent.

Help with ICBC claims

For pedestrians and cyclists who have been struck and injured by a vehicle, it is important to realize that there are ways to pursue financial compensation through ICBC. However, time is of the essence, both in terms of reporting the accident and for filing a claim. Furthermore, dealing with claims adjusters, who often start from the assumption that the pedestrian was at fault, can be frustrating. That's why injured pedestrians should reach out to a personal injury lawyer for help. An experienced lawyer can help clients in the immediate and long-term aftermat h of an accident, including by helping them pursue whatever compensation they may be entitled to.