Crossing the street should not be a deadly affair. Unfortunately, the latest data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that the simple act of getting across a street is more deadly now than it has been in years. Almost 6,000 pedestrians were fatally injured by car crashes in 2016. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths reported in over twenty years and represents an 11 percent increase over the data from 2015.
How can we reduce the risk of pedestrian fatalities?
It can help to have a basic understanding of the factors that contribute to these tragic accidents. Three of the most common causes for this rise in pedestrian deaths include:
- Driver error. A failure to pay attention to the roadways can result in tragic consequences. Looking down to check an incoming text or a GPS device for directions can lead to a deadly accident. In this short period of time a driver could miss an upcoming crosswalk and strike a pedestrian.
- Poor design. A recent article in Finance & Commerce notes that a lack of proper engineering when designing roadways and crossing areas is also a contributing factor in the increase of pedestrian accidents. The increase is not a jump over a single year, but instead part of a growing trend. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 12 percent between 2006 and 2015. Many streets are still operating on designs that were put together in the 1950s. During that time, everyone was in a vehicle. Over the last thirty years more and more people are walking. Ultimately, the piece calls for designs to change to provide safe passage for pedestrians.
- Pedestrian mistake. There are also instances when a pedestrian is not paying attention or crosses in a dangerous area.
For those who have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, legal remedies may be available. In some cases, a personal injury or wrongful death suit may be an option. This is particularly true if the pedestrian crash is the result of another’s poor decisions. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.