Roadway fatalities have risen across the board in the US over recent years. One of the most affected groups of roadway users, however, has been pedestrians. Read on to learn about the rise in fatalities among pedestrians, and contact a seasoned California personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a Stockton pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian deaths at a 30 year high
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released a report on the state of pedestrian safety in the US. According to this report, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. Pedestrians accounted for 16% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents that year. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990, when 6,482 people were killed while walking. This recent number also reveals a troubling trend of pedestrian fatalities climbing in recent years since hitting an all-time low of 4,109 in 2009. In the period between 2009 and 2016, pedestrian deaths rose by 46%.
Pedestrians often injured at night, by SUVs
Increases in pedestrian deaths occurred most often in accidents happening after dark, between intersections, and in single-vehicle crashes involving SUVs. SUVs, vans, and trucks are associated with higher fatality risks among pedestrians due to their vertical front ends. These vehicles are more likely to strike a person in the chest or head, making collisions more likely to be fatal. Redesigning these vehicles to be less likely to cause fatal injuries to pedestrians could make them safer. Safety experts also note that, over the past seven years, speed limits have risen in many parts of the country, and that higher speed limits are associated with greater numbers of pedestrian fatalities. Greater speed limit enforcement, as well as red light cameras, have both been shown to reduce pedestrian fatality rates.
More crosswalks and less distracted driving could prevent pedestrian deaths
Experts also note that pedestrians are more likely to get hit in areas where crosswalks are fewer and farther between, or where there are few sidewalks. By increasing the number of well-lit, signal-protected crosswalks, fewer people are forced to cross in dimly-lit or unprotected crossings. Many experts also assert that distracted driving has a highly negative impact on pedestrian safety in particular. Drivers with their heads down in their phones are unlikely to scan the roadway completely, causing them to miss smaller objects such as pedestrians and cyclists.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Central California pedestrian accident, get help seeking the compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting the dedicated and effective Sutter Creek & Stockton pedestrian injury lawyers at Redkey & Gordon for a free consultation at 209-267-4589.