When you’re in a car, you know that an accident is possible. You may not have quite the same conscious awareness of your risk, however, when you’re on a bicycle or just walking. Unfortunately, fatal pedestrian accidents have been on the rise for a while, and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), there were 6,590 fatal accidents involving pedestrians in 2019, which is a 5% increase over 2018 and a 60% increase over 2009. It’s important to remember that these figures don’t include any non-fatal accidents — which means that there are likely thousands of other victims that have suffered significant injuries.
What’s driving the increase? It’s likely several factors are contributing at once:
- Americans have gravitated to larger, heavier motor vehicles, and the physical damage caused by these vehicles can be a lot worse than the damage from a small car.
- There are more people walking or biking than before, either because of their concern for the environment or their health — or perhaps due to economic reasons.
- The widespread use of smartphones has led to more distracted driving, especially when drivers stop to fire off a text or check their email at a traffic light.
In general, there’s a growing awareness that pedestrian safety is a serious concern in this country. City streets were largely designed for vehicles, not pedestrians — and that issue needs to be rethought in light of the country’s changing needs.
If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident or your loved one was killed, find out more about how you can claim compensation for your financial losses. Money won’t fix everything, but it can help provide stability for your family in a time of need.