With rising transportation costs and increased health awareness, more people are walking more places than ever before. Unfortunately, there’s also been a startling rise in pedestrian deaths for recent years, particularly 2016.
According to a recently released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of people killed while walking jumped sharply by 11 percent from 2015 to 2016, with almost 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic. This represents the single largest year-to-year increase in history and the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in more than 20 years.
Primary Causes of Pedestrian Deaths
According to the report, there are multiple causes for this alarming increase in people killed by traffic while walking. This increase has arrived despite large strides in vehicle safety measures and other recent steps taken to prevent fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles.
The top causes of pedestrian death are speeding and failure to yield, which may not be a surprising find. Drivers who are stressed and in a hurry often simply don’t pay enough attention to their surroundings, which can result in deadly consequences for pedestrians.
However, the next leading cause of death among pedestrians is distracted walking — largely due to cell phone use. While many states have laws that restrict or prohibit cell phone use while driving, there are no laws preventing people from using their phones while walking.
The fourth leading cause, coming in closely behind distraction-based accidents, is alcohol. However, alcohol-related pedestrian fatalities are not all due to drunk drivers. While the report indicates that drunk drivers are responsible for 15 percent of annual pedestrian traffic deaths, a surprising 34 percent — or one-third — of all pedestrians killed are drunk themselves. Drunk walking can be just as risky as drunk driving.
Pedestrian Deaths and the Law
If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The skilled and experienced attorneys at Stevenson & Murray can investigate your case, and help you determine the best way to handle your personal injury or wrongful death settlement.
Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your pedestrian death lawsuit. Our friendly and professional attorneys will work on your behalf to advocate for your rights and recover any possible compensation that may be due to you and your family.