Imagine yourself walking along a sidewalk by yourself on a nice sunny day. Now imagine yourself jaywalking across a busy wet street during a rainstorm. In each of these two scenarios, you most likely pictured yourself moving at different speeds.
Pedestrian speed is a behaviour governed by many factors that can be significant when investigating a collision involving a person on foot. A pedestrian’s speed immediately prior to impact has a direct effect on how much opportunity the driver of the involved vehicle had to avoid the collision. Considering this, an expert should not neglect the parameters that can alter how quickly the pedestrian may have been moving.
Some of the factors influencing pedestrian speed include: inclement environment conditions, whether the pedestrian is travelling alone or with a group of people, and whether they are travelling in a relatively safe environment (such as a sidewalk or crosswalk) or against traffic (by jaywalking or crossing against a “don’t walk” signal).
When investigating a pedestrian collision, it is important to get the full picture so the reconstruction expert can analyze the collision scenario as accurately as possible. Context is paramount.