For nearly three decades, pedestrian fatalities have steadily dropped in communities throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the period from 2009 to 2018 showed a dramatic increase from 4,109 to 6,283 deaths. While some factors such as poor lighting, distracted driving and high speeds are well-documented other factors seem to be more elusive.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety sought to examine this increase by studying all motor vehicle crash data that resulted in a pedestrian death. While 24 of the 30-country coalition called the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development showed a decrease in pedestrian fatalities over this time period, the United States experienced the largest percentage increase. Of note:
- The increase of pedestrian fatalities largely occurred in urban areas.
- More than two-thirds of the pedestrian deaths occurred on non-freeway roads.
- While the number of deaths occurring at traffic intersections increased by 29, the amount of fatal accidents that occurred at non-intersection locations increased by more than 1,800.
- The number of pedestrian deaths that occurred in darkness increased by 1,900.
- Pedestrians fatalities involving adults accounted for the total increase while the number of child and teen fatalities decreased.
Based on the examination of the combined data, numerous factors influence the dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths over the time period from 2009 to 2018. Traffic safety falls on the shoulders of both the pedestrians and the drivers of the motor vehicles. Drivers and pedestrians alike must always avoid distractions and remain aware of their surroundings. Pedestrians will likely suffer devastating injuries in any type of vehicle collision. Serious wrecks can lead to fatality. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian collision, contact an experienced attorney for guidance.