Fatal Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in US
Pedestrian accidents can result in devastating consequences for victims. When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, their odds of sustaining major injuries are relatively high. These injuries can require costly medical treatment and may even have a permanent impact on a victim’s overall quality of life.
Unfortunately, research indicates pedestrian accident rates are rising quickly and significantly throughout the US. According to a study from Smart Growth America, a nonprofit focusing on urban development issues, the past decade has seen a 60% increase in fatal pedestrian accident rates. Early data also suggests pedestrian accident rates may have continued to rise during the pandemic, despite there being fewer vehicles on America’s roads during this time.
Why Are Pedestrian Accident Rates Increasing?
It’s not yet possible to completely explain this alarming trend. It’s clear many factors are to blame for this sharp increase in accidents involving pedestrians.
For example, it’s likely no coincidence that an increase in pedestrian accident rates has correlated with an increase in rates of smartphone ownership. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is becoming an increasingly common cause of motor vehicle accidents. This is probably because drivers are using their phones when they should be focusing on the road to a greater degree than ever before.
That said, pedestrians must also consider how allowing their phones and other such devices to distract them could result in major accidents. When walking along any road, a pedestrian’s chances of being injured will typically be greater than they might otherwise be if they are looking down at their phone and not staying aware of their surroundings.
There are also steps government agencies can take to reduce the rate of pedestrian injuries and deaths. According to the study, although pedestrian accidents resulting in death are becoming increasingly common in the US, in other high-income countries, governments have identified means of reducing pedestrian accident rates.
Specifically, the approach to roadway design in these countries is quite different from that of the US. In our country, road designs tend to prioritize efficiency over safety.
It’s also worth noting that pedestrian accidents appear to be more common in low-income areas where sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and parks are less prevalent than they may be in other communities. Thus, major changes to urban design must be considered in order to boost pedestrian safety.
Of course, the average citizen can’t necessarily do much to influence road designs across the nation. They can merely take basic steps to avoid causing or being harmed in pedestrian accidents, such as obeying traffic laws, focusing on their surroundings instead of their phones, etc.
That said, even if you are a cautious pedestrian who strives to avoid danger, it’s still possible you might one day be harmed in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence. You deserve compensation for your medical bills and other such losses associated with your accident if this ever happens.
Pursuing the compensation you are owed will typically involve filing a claim to collect from the negligent party’s insurance. When doing so, strongly consider hiring a lawyer. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, our Charlotte pedestrian accident attorneys can help you negotiate for a fair settlement. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 704-335-1500.