When you think of traffic accidents, you likely think of a crash between two cars or trucks first. However, a significant percentage of deadly traffic accidents involve victims who were walking at the time of the collision. Getting hit by a car is often life-changing, if not fatal, for a pedestrian, and new statistics published by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) indicate that pedestrian fatalities are increasing at an alarming rate.
The following are the estimated numbers of pedestrian deaths across the United States for the past three years:
The steady increase in these numbers means that the number of fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 11 percent from 2015 to 2016 and by a whopping 22 percent from 2014 to 2016. These increases leave researchers seeking an explanation for why pedestrians are at a greater risk than ever.
Researchers began looking at different cultural shifts to try to explain the increase in pedestrian accidents and deaths in the U.S. While many of these crashes do involve someone who was intoxicated – either the driver or the pedestrian – there has not been a marked increase in alcohol use in the U.S. to justify the increase in fatalities. Instead, researchers have looked to another explanation: distracted driving.
Distracted driving not only causes crashes between two drivers but also can cause pedestrian accidents. Drivers who are texting or otherwise not paying attention to the road can easily miss a pedestrian crossing the street or may fail to realize a pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk. While distracted driving is not the only cause of fatal pedestrian accidents, it plays a role in many cases, and distracted drivers should be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, a skilled pedestrian accident attorney at Williams Law in Jacksonville can help. We protect the rights of individuals injured in many types of accidents, so please call our office at 904-580-6060 for more information about how we can help you.