A report revealed that pedestrians have been at an increased risk of injury or death in recent years. The study found that pedestrian deaths caused by car accidents are occurring at the highest rate in three decades. Safety advocates hope that the report will bring new attention to the design of American roads.
What the Study Found
The Governors Highway Safety Association compiled the report, and it found that about 6,200 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2018. Though this number is an estimate created from 6 months of data, numbers from past years suggest that it is accurate. Between 2008 to 2017, the annual number of pedestrian deaths increased from 4,414 to 5,977. This increase represents a 35 percent increase over 10 years. According to the GHSA, pedestrian deaths account for approximately 16 percent of traffic deaths.
Why So Many Pedestrians Are Dying
The study found that most of the pedestrian deaths in the study involved alcohol. It also found that about 90 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred at night on roads not designed for pedestrian safety. Between driver negligence and an increasing number of roads designed exclusively for use by cars, pedestrians are in more danger than ever.
According to the GHSA, the preventable problem is the design of American streets. “Most pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark, on local streets, away from intersections, so unfriendly street design is also a critical factor,” said Madison Forker of the GHSA.
Since cars are the most popular form of transportation in the United States, roads throughout the nation are developed for motor vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that pedestrian safety is frequently overlooked. Poor lighting, small sidewalks, inadequate crosswalks, and other factors put pedestrians at risk.
In a comment to Government Technology, urban design researcher Emiko Atherton said that “Because you’re seeing transportation systems and roads that are designed for high-speed, high-volume travel, you’re not seeing the street design include pedestrians because they don’t really go hand-in-hand.”
Atherton is concerned about American road design and pedestrian safety because “…you’re essentially building car-oriented communities that are not friendly to pedestrians, and you’re combining highway design for suburban land use, which is a recipe for failure.”
Notably, the report found that deaths involving SUVs have seen a 50 percent increase since 2013. As more Americans buy SUVs, large-sized vehicles may be contributing significantly to the severity of pedestrian accidents. So, the United States has roads not designed for pedestrian use, which become even less safe as the average size of a vehicle grows larger.
Were You a Pedestrian Involved With a Car Accident?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries related to a pedestrian accident, then it is time to call the pedestrian accident attorneys from Arnold & Itkin. Our firm has recovered billions of dollars for our clients because we know what it takes to win a case. Once you call, you’ll have the opportunity to have a free consultation with a member of our team. Call today to learn your legal and financial options, and take the first step toward recovery.
A member of our team is ready to talk when you call (888) 493-1629. Our car accident attorneys only collect a fee if they get results, so there's no reason not to call.