Pedestrian Fatalities Increasing Nationwide
I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer. Going out for a stroll is increasingly riskier than in past years. A recent data report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that pedestrian deaths have skyrocketed, with a total of 5,987 fatalities in 2016. This is the highest jump in numbers since 1990. The numbers have almost doubled (48%) compared to 2009 when pedestrian deaths were at their lowest. You may be wondering what has gone wrong in the last couple of years. A deeper look into these dismal statistics reveals the primary contributors: faulty pedestrian and motorist behaviors.
Contributing Pedestrian Errors
Human error is an undeniably huge factor in all types of motor vehicle accidents, even when pedestrians are not in the picture. Let’s look over the main three pedestrian behaviors that have increased the death rates from 2009 – 2016:
- Attempting to cross arterial roads with higher speed limits: A primary function of arterial roadways is to funnel incoming traffic from surface streets to highways and freeways. Therefore, these specific streets aren’t very welcoming to pedestrians. Vehicles commonly move at higher-than-average speeds on arterial roads, with sidewalks that are dangerously narrow or completely non-existent.
- Nighttime road crossing: Aside from the obviously reduced visibility at night, pedestrians dressed in dark-colored clothing make it even more likely that they will not be seen by passing cars. Additionally, many bars and clubs open their doors to the public at night, where the consumption of alcoholic beverages is the norm. The common hours to drink are riskier times to be on the roads for both pedestrians and motorists alike.
- Jaywalking: More and more pedestrians are dying because they did not utilize a crosswalk. Some pedestrians will cross the middle of a street even when a crosswalk is nearby. If you live in a densely populated city, more likely than not there are crosswalks readily available on most streets. Saving an extra minute or two of time is not worth the risk of losing your life.
Contributing Motorist Behaviors
Pedestrians are not the only ones that contribute to their increasing death rates. Motorists contribute to the cause every time they get behind the wheel. Let’s look at two of the main motorist behaviors contributing to the rise in pedestrian deaths from 2009 – 2016:
- Speeding: Reckless driving is already a danger by itself. When you add a large-sized car into the picture, such as an SUV, the results can be deadly. The design of SUV’s is also problematic for pedestrians; since they are higher off the ground, they are more likely to hit a pedestrian in the head in a collision. The number of pedestrians killed by an SUV has skyrocketed to an alarming rate of 81%.
- Bad headlights: A large number of pedestrian accident fatalities occur at night. In addition, many cars (even newer models) are installed with headlights that don’t provide a clear line of sight in the dark. In combination with the many other risks of driving at night, such as drowsiness, it becomes clear why so many drivers fail to see an oncoming pedestrian until it is too late.
More by Pittsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer, Ed Smith:
- Pittsburg Citizen Involved in Pedestrian Accident
- Pedestrian Rights and Obligations in California
- Car Hits and Kills Pedestrian in Pittsburg
Pittsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg Wrongful Death Lawyer. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, you are welcome to call me by dialing (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
You can review my past settlements and verdicts online to learn more about the outcomes I have achieved for my clients.
I am affiliated with the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Image Credit: Author JJ Ying – Unsplash.
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