Pedestrian Fatalities Have Risen Sharply in Recent Years
Posted on : August 15, 2018
by : Carlos Alvarez Tostado
Despite numerous recent advances in vehicle safety technology, the number of deaths on US roads has increased steadily over the past few years. No category of roadway fatality has grown faster, however, than those among pedestrians. Read on to learn more about the rise in pedestrian deaths and ways to combat this pattern, and contact a knowledgeable San Diego personal injury lawyer for more information.
According to the roadway safety researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian deaths hit an all-time low in 2009, when 4,109 pedestrians died in motor vehicle-related accidents. Since 2009, however, pedestrian fatalities have been climbing. In 2016, the IIHS reports that 5,987 pedestrians died on the road. This is a 46% increase over the total number of pedestrian deaths in 2009, and it is the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1990, when 6,482 pedestrians died in traffic accidents. While the total number of motor vehicle accident deaths has risen starkly, pedestrian deaths alone account for 52% of the increase in highway fatalities between 2009 and 2016. While experts are still searching for explanations for the jump in fatalities, many believe that the epidemic of distracted driving is at least partly to blame.
In its report on the increase in pedestrian deaths, the IIHS offered several suggestions on how deaths among those on foot near roadways could be reduced. The researchers’ suggestions included:
Better vehicle design. Many vans and SUVs have vertical front ends which are perched higher than those of sedans, making them uniquely able to impose fatal blows to pedestrians’ critical organs in an accident. In fact, studies show that areas with a greater number of SUVs and vans experience higher rates of pedestrian fatalities. Encouraging vehicle manufacturers to redesign these vehicles could make them less dangerous to pedestrians.
More crosswalks. When pedestrian crosswalks or intersections are few and far between, pedestrians are more likely to cross between intersections and get hit. Adding marked, lit, and even signal-controlled crosswalks can keep walkers safe.
Combating texting while driving. Distracted drivers are a danger to everyone with whom they share the road, but they’re even less likely to see smaller objects such as pedestrians and cyclists than other cars.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a Southern California pedestrian accident, find out if you have a right to money damages for your injuries from a personal injury lawsuit by contacting the dedicated and effective San Diego traffic accident lawyers at the Banker’s Hill Law Firm for a free consultation at 619-230-0330.