A new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) found that pedestrian deaths in 2018 hit the highest level in almost 30 years. According to the report, 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2018. The report showed that many of these deaths occurred in big cities. Florida, along with four other states (Georgia, Texas, California, and Arizona) made up more than half of these fatalities. Tampa Bay has ranked among the top 10 places for pedestrian deaths.
Reasons for the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths
Long stretches of highway designed for commuter traffic can be an unsafe situation for pedestrians who are forced to walk along these roadways. Not enough crosswalks and signage to protect drivers can be a contributing factor in pedestrian deaths. Telling pedestrians to use crosswalks is useful advice but not practical when there are several miles between crosswalks.
According to the GHSA report, one of the most dangerous factors that are leading to an increase in pedestrian deaths is cell phone usage by both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers who are distracted are not on the lookout for pedestrians on the road. By the same token, pedestrians who are looking at their phones and not at their surroundings can quickly become the victim of a negligent driver.
In addition to distracted driving from cell phone use, the increase in pedestrian deaths can also be the result of larger vehicles on the road. Pedestrians don’t have walls of steel protecting them so when they are struck by a vehicle, they can be seriously injured. If this vehicle is a large truck or an SUV, it is more likely that these injuries will be fatal.
Solutions to the Problem
There are a number of technologies and solutions that may be on the horizon. Designing roadways to be more pedestrian friendly with more sidewalk space and protected crosswalks is one approach. Pedestrian-sensing technology on vehicles can also be helpful in curbing the problem. However, reducing distracted driving would be the most helpful measure in preventing pedestrian fatalities. Enforcing distracted driving laws and educating the public could save hundreds of lives.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consult with an experienced injury attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping injured pedestrians for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.