When a car crash involves a pedestrian, the pedestrian does not have the protection of a vehicle and is extremely vulnerable to personal injury and fatality. A highway safety report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in 2016 shows an alarming rise in pedestrian deaths. Analysis of the numbers shows a 10 percent rise in pedestrian fatalities in 2015, the biggest increase since national records began in 1975. The increase was identified by assessing data reported by state highway safety agencies for the first half of 2014 (2,232) compared to the first half of 2015 (2,368). For perspective, prior years have swung between a 10.5 percent decrease to an 8.1 percent increase in pedestrian traffic fatalities.
This report matches a trend noted by the Government Accountability Office which also found that more pedestrians are now involved in traffic accidents. Their data showed that pedestrians represented 14 percent of traffic deaths in 2013, up from 11 percent in 2004. GHSA data confirms that along with the increase in pedestrian fatalities, pedestrians now account for a larger portion of car accident related deaths; about 15 percent in 2015 compared with 11 percent in 2005.
What is causing the rise in pedestrian deaths?
GHSA experts believe that several factors could be contributing to the increase in pedestrian fatalities.
- Low gas prices in 2015 meant more drivers on the road.
- An increase in pedestrians as more people moved into urban centers and chose to walk to work and to run errands for environmental, health and practical reasons.
- The increase in traffic combined with the growing use of cell phones among pedestrians and drivers all play into the pedestrian death rate.
What can be done to reduce pedestrian deaths?
Many states are working with safety officials to reduce pedestrian deaths. Some of the safety strategies include:
- Targeted traffic enforcement
- Public information campaigns
- Data analysis and mapping to identify high-risk zones
- Traffic calming measures like bigger curbs
- Community-based pedestrian safety assessments
- Road safety audits
- Strategic partnerships with universities or other organizations such as daycares and seniors centers
Drivers and pedestrians must play their part by reducing distracted walking and driving. Cell phone should not be used while walking down the road any more than while driving a car.
If you lost a loved one to pedestrian fatality, contact a personal injury lawyer today. He or she will fight for a settlement on your behalf to recover for a range of damages that could include funeral and medical expenses incurred after the accident, loss of companionship and consortium and more.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!