Fatal Pedestrian Accidents Reach Three-Decade High
June 18, 2019
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently released their latest Spotlight on Highway Safety Report. The news is alarming for people who enjoy walking.
Last year, 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the U.S., more than any year since 1990. In fact, according to GHSA’s figures, the number of annual pedestrian deaths has risen almost every 12 months since 2009 when 4,109 pedestrians were fatally injured on the nation’s roads and streets.
Why Pedestrian Fatalities Occur
Individuals who are walking may feel as if they are safe from injury, but the GHSA’s raw numbers indicate otherwise. Pedestrians can find themselves in harm’s way for a number of reasons:
- This could be negligence on either party’s part. For instance, a driver may neglect to stop at a red light. Or, a pedestrian may be distracted by their phone and walk into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Small versus large vehicles. Many people are buying trucks, vans, and SUVs instead of sports cars and sedans. The larger the vehicle, the more likely it is to seriously injure a pedestrian upon impact.
- Cell phones and other electronic devices are common distractions for both walkers and drivers.
- Poor driving skills. Someone who does not follow the rules of the road puts themselves and everyone else, pedestrians included, in jeopardy.
- Both drivers and pedestrians may make poor decisions while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A walker may exercise bad judgment by walking across a busy street just as a drunk driver might speed in a residential area or swerve into a pedestrian’s path.
Of course, every pedestrian accident is unique. Therefore, each case will have its own specifics, including how and why the incident occurred.
Tips to Avoid Pedestrian Crashes
Although not all pedestrian accidents are escapable, walkers can take measures to lower their risk of being injured in a traffic incident.
- Walk during the day. Nighttime pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, while daytime pedestrian fatalities have remained consistent. If nighttime walking is necessary, wear light colors or reflective clothing.
- Stay alert. Do not walk while looking at a phone. Keep earbud music to a minimum level when walking in a high traffic area.
- Use crosswalks. Crosswalks exist to help pedestrians know where they can safely go from one area to the next. Still, all walkers should be careful and not rely on crosswalks as a completely safe zone.
- Avoid jaywalking. Although most law enforcement officials rarely issue tickets for jaywalking, the behavior can put pedestrians at increased risk of being struck by a car or truck.
- Avoid walking in the street alongside traffic. Highways and roads are not made for pedestrians. Sidewalks are the best option, if available.
Reading Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Fight for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents and Their Families
If you have been hurt by a car while walking or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a pedestrian accident, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP to discuss your options for recovering compensation. Contact us online to set up a free consultation or call 800-222-USWA (8792) today.
Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas, including Allentown, Harrisburg, and New Jersey.