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Pedestrian Deaths at Highest Rate in 28 Years

Pedestrian Deaths at Highest Rate in 28 Years

In 2018, pedestrian deaths in the United States were the highest they’ve been since 1990 according to preliminary data collected by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The data reported by the GHSA was originally obtained by the State Highway Safety Offices  (SHSO), including both state and national trends across all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). The preliminary data obtained by the SHSO suggests that the alarming rise in pedestrian fatalities that occurred between 2015 – 2017 has continued through 2018. GHSA estimates that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents in 2018, which reflects a 4 percent increase from 2017.

Contributing Factors to the Rise in Pedestrian Deaths

Numerous factors are contributing to the annual increases in pedestrian accident fatalities, many of which cannot be controlled by local and state traffic safety officials. Some of these factors include economic conditions, demographic changes, population growth, fuel prices, weather conditions, the amount of time people spend walking outside, and vehicle miles traveled.

One notable factor has also been the shift in vehicles sales in the U.S., as there has been a trend away from passenger cars and more towards light trucks. With that being said, it is still true that passenger cars remain the largest category of cars involved in pedestrian accident fatalities. However, the number of pedestrian deaths involving an SUV has increased by 50 percent from 2013 – 2017, compared to only 30 percent for passenger cars in that same period. Clearly, the faster rate increase of SUV-related pedestrian fatalities reflects the booming sales of SUV’s and the well-known notion that pedestrians are not as likely to survive an SUV collision.

The increasing incident rate of pedestrian deaths is largely occurring at night. Between 2008 – 2017, the rate of fatal nighttime pedestrian accidents saw a 45 percent increase, as compared to the much smaller 11 percent increase of fatal pedestrian accidents in the daytime.

In addition, it is theorized that pedestrian accidents and related deaths could be linked to the rates of population growth in certain cities and states. The top 10 states that experienced the highest population increase from 2017 – 2018 had an overall 5 percent increase in their rate of pedestrian accident fatalities in the first 6 months of 2018, as compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Finally, there is also widespread speculation that the increase in pedestrian deaths could be influenced by the rise in smartphone use, which has been increasingly popular in the last decade. Using a phone while driving has been proven to be a huge contributing factor towards distracted driving. Whether you’re on a phone call, texting, or reading an email, any form of phone use behind the wheel is detrimental to the safety of yourself and others on the road.

Oakley Wrongful Death Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, an Oakley Wrongful Death Lawyer. Car accidents often lead to physical injury, even if you felt fine after it first happened. If you have sustained an injury from a car accident that was caused by another party, you may consider consulting with an injury lawyer in your area. You can reach me anytime at either (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. I am more than happy to provide you with my free and friendly advice.

I am a proud member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which represents the top 1 percent of lawyers across the U.S. who have demonstrated a priority for legal excellence. You can also view my personal listing with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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