When you hear the term “traffic fatality,” most people think of a major car accident which resulted in a driver or passenger being killed from the impact, not necessarily a pedestrian. But over the last five years, pedestrians have seen the sharpest rise in fatalities of any group, increasing by double-digit margins.
According to an article in the Washington Post, 28,642 pedestrians were struck by cars and killed in the United States between the years 2010 and 2015. Pedestrian deaths saw an increase of 25% over that period, now accounting for about 15% of all traffic-related deaths.
While official statistics have not yet been released, those numbers are expected to increase again for the year 2016, as 34 states reported an increase in pedestrian deaths during the first six months of the year.
A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association listed a number of reasons why pedestrians are being struck and killed at a much higher rate. One factor was gas prices, which have fallen to a more reasonable level and allowed more people to drive. More cars on the road creates a much riskier situation for pedestrians.
A second factor is a lack of safety features. Roads have gotten bigger and higher-speed while crosswalks have stayed pretty much the same for many years, exposing pedestrians to more cars moving at higher speeds.
Third, distracted driving is also rapidly on the rise, particularly with more people now owning smartphones than back in 2010. Distracted drivers are less likely to notice a pedestrian, leading to the increase in the chances of an accident.
To improve conditions for pedestrians, the GHSA suggested a number of steps state and local governments could take, many of which have been implemented in some jurisdictions with considerable success. Refuge islands on large, busy streets, pedestrian overpasses and tunnels, additional traffic signals, and more-visible crosswalks (including those with flashing beacons) have all been shown to dramatically increase pedestrian safety. Likewise, many localities are working on improving street lighting conditions; poor lighting at night is one of the biggest contributing factors to a pedestrian death.
If you have been injured by a car as a pedestrian, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal assistance for your case from a Detroit injury attorney as soon as possible. Goodman Acker, P.C. has provided compassionate, knowledgeable counsel for injured pedestrians in a variety of cases. With more than 75 years of combined experience, we can help you with the complex legal process and obtain the compensation you are entitled to after your accident. Trust your case to a firm that takes great pride in its ability to recover on behalf of our clients, and we are backed by a 99% success rate.
Call Goodman Acker, P.C. today at (248) 793-2010 and receive a free consultation to let us review your case and discuss your legal options with you!
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