Increased Pedestrian Deaths Becoming a Sustained Trend

Car accidents send over a million individuals to emergency rooms around the US each year, with hundreds of thousands hospitalized too. Many others escape unscathed—sometimes just the victims of mild collisions or fender benders yielding no damage. When a car hits a pedestrian, however, there is a much greater chance for serious injury or death due to the vulnerability of an individual walking on foot in comparison to a moving vehicle that weighs 4,000 pounds.

As we have discussed in previous blogs regarding motorcycles too, lack of visibility is a common problem, leading to far too many catastrophic accidents. Being seen is also often a major challenge for pedestrians, as motorists may be used to making swift right turns in traffic near crosswalk areas without thinking ahead to the potential for pedestrians walking across the road—and they have every right to do so. Motorists who are engaged with cell phones, other electronics, and multiple distractions in the car are at fault for thousands of deaths each year—and pedestrian fatalities are now continuing to rise, and so predictably so that Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association notes the issue as an unfortunate and ‘sustained trend.’

This trend marks a new high throughout the country, and government officials are not only concerned, but they are trying to make changes to any infrastructure possible that will help keep pedestrians from being injured or killed. Some areas just aren’t set up very well for pedestrian travel, whether there is a lack of proper crosswalks and signage, or necessary illumination at night.

“In addition to encouraging individuals to behave safely, those responsible for designing the vehicles and roadways need to work on making it easier for people to choose the safe behavior,” says Laura Sandt, the director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at UNC., “and to be sure that they are investing in infrastructure and creating policies that support safe walking.”

Classic problems are still to blame though, from drivers who aren’t paying attention to those who are speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While it is important that those who are responsible for accidents are held accountable, continual education and expanded public awareness is necessary.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.