Of all those involved in a car accident, pedestrians face the greatest disadvantage.
And according to a new study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the pedestrian death crisis is getting worse.
What’s behind the rising threat to pedestrians, and what can you do if you were caught in a car accident as a pedestrian? We developed this quick guide to help.
According to data released today, the GHSA predicts 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, the highest number of fatalities in more than 30 years. In fact, it’s the highest number since 1988.
It’s also 5% (307 deaths) higher than the 6,283 pedestrian deaths that occurred in 2018. If the preliminary data holds, then a total of 57,897 pedestrians have died between 2019, almost equal to the number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Worse, the rising deaths are a reversal of a recent trend of declining pedestrian deaths. Despite the fact that car safety is at an all-time high, pedestrian deaths have gone up by more than 50% in the last 10 years.
And while pedestrian deaths account for 17% of all traffic-related fatalities, the rate of increase for other traffic fatalities (2%) has not gone up at a rate that reflects the stark increase in pedestrian deaths.
After 30 years of declining pedestrian deaths, what’s causing the rise in pedestrian deaths now?
A significant part of the increase is the rising consumer preference for SUVs. Pedestrians struck by SUVs are twice as likely to die than those struck by a car. And while passenger cars represent the largest category of vehicles in fatal pedestrian crashes, the number of fatalities involving SUVs has increased at a rate of 81% over the past decade, far above the 53% rate of increase for passenger cars.
In addition, the number of nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased by 67% in the past 10 years compared to a 16% increase in daytime pedestrian fatalities. Most pedestrian fatalities take place at night on local roads away from major intersections, suggesting an increased need to make pedestrians and cars more visible.
Also, keep in mind that unsafe driving behaviors like distracted driving or driving under the influence pose a disproportionate risk to pedestrians. Alcohol is a particularly large risk factor, playing a role in nearly half of all crashes resulting in pedestrian fatalities in 2018.
Pedestrian deaths are a huge tragedy for the families left behind, who must pick up the pieces after losing a loved one when they thought they weren’t in any danger.
No sum can make up for what a driver took from you, but we do know that no family should have to suffer the fallout from someone else’s carelessness.
The auto accident attorneys at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys have won millions for the victims of car accidents since 1984, because we know that you need someone to fight for your family. That’s why our attorneys treat every client with the care and dedication they would give to their own family members–because we know that in a tragedy, we wouldn’t want anything less for our loved ones.
If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, schedule your free consultation today.