Why are Pedestrian Fatalities Increasing?

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Today’s motor vehicles are safer than ever thanks to advanced safety technology, such as blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and emergency brake assist. However, despite the improvements to vehicle safety, in 2019, the number of pedestrian fatalities was the highest it had been in over 30 years. Not since 1988 has there been more pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents. Pedestrian accidents are often fatal because there is nothing protecting the pedestrian from the impact of the vehicle. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report that took a closer look at pedestrian accidents and why they are so dangerous.

Last year, over 6,500 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in the United States, even though overall fatalities from car accidents have been going down. There are several factors that contribute to this rise in pedestrian fatalities, including the distractions that smartphones cause. The report found that pedestrians are twice as likely to die if they are struck by an SUV compared to a smaller vehicle. According to the report, we must take a broad approach to pedestrian safety if we are to effectively address the fact that pedestrians are at a major disadvantage if they are hit by a car.

Highlights from the Report

The report revealed the following information about pedestrian fatalities in the United States:

  • Close to half of the pedestrian fatalities occurred in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Warm weather is thought to be a contributing factor.
  • Passenger cars are responsible for the most fatal pedestrian crashes, but SUVs are causing pedestrian fatalities at a much faster rate in the past decade.
  • Most pedestrian fatalities occur at night and on local roads. Over the past decade, nighttime fatalities have increased by 67 percent. Daytime deaths have increased by 16 percent.
  • Distracted driving, speeding, drowsy driving, and other unsafe driving habits put pedestrians at serious risk.
  • Alcohol impairment, either by the driver or the pedestrian, was involved in close to half of the car accidents that resulted in fatalities in 2018.
  • Pedestrians remain susceptible to serious or fatal injuries from being hit by a car, despite the advancements in vehicle safety technology.

Pedestrian protection features make bumpers softer and modify the front end of cars. However, this feature is not currently mandatory in the United States. Other countries, such as Japan, Australia, and most of Europe, require the protection feature. The report did offer recommendations for ways to reduce car accidents, including those that involve pedestrians. They include the following:

  • Improve infrastructure design
  • Make road crossings safer
  • Improve visibility of pedestrians and vehicles
  • Expand educational outreach
  • Enforce laws related to speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving
  • Design SUVs so that they are less likely to cause severe or fatal pedestrian injuries

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents

If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our dedicated legal team will ensure that the negligent party is held liable for the accident. We understand how devastating it is to lose someone so suddenly and tragically. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are conveniently located in BaltimoreColumbiaGlen Burnie and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel CountyCarroll CountyHarford CountyHoward CountyMontgomery CountyPrince George’s CountyQueen Anne’s CountyMaryland’s Western CountiesSouthern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of CatonsvilleEssexHalethorpeMiddle RiverRosedale, Gwynn OakBrooklandvilleDundalkPikesvilleParkvilleNottinghamWindsor MillLuthervilleTimoniumSparrows PointRidgewood and Elkridge.