New Report Shows Surge in Pedestrian Deaths Despite Fewer Drivers

A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that pedestrian deaths across the United States are on pace for a record increase in spite of fewer drivers on the road. This jump in fatalities has spurred traffic safety advocates to call on governmental agencies to enact new initiatives and improve pedestrian safety.

What the New Data Shows

According to a report in the Staten Island Advance, preliminary data provided by all 50 states for the period between January and June 2020 indicate that 2,957 people were killed nationwide in pedestrian accidents during that period. This number represents a total increase of six from the 2,951 killed during that same time span in 2019.

However, this slight increase raises red flags when viewed in the context of decreased traffic on our roadways this past year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The GHSA report shows that during the first half of 2020, vehicle miles traveled dropped 16.5% across the country when compared to the first half of 2019. When accounting for miles traveled, the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate per billion vehicle miles traveled increased by about 22% year over year. If this trend continued throughout the year, it would mark the largest ever year-to-year increase in the U.S. pedestrian death rate.

Rising pedestrian fatalities have long been a serious concern in the United States, especially here in New York City. Pedestrian deaths increased 46% over the past decade – during a time when all other motor vehicle fatalities increased by only 5%. GHSA’s report indicated that pedestrians are also at the greatest risk while traveling at night. Over the past decade, the number of pedestrian fatalities occurring at night surged by 54% compared to an increase of 16% during the day.

Sadly, it’s not just pedestrian deaths that increased in 2020. Recent numbers from the National Safety Council (NSC) showed that about 42,060 people died in traffic accidents in 2020 marking the highest number of roadway fatalities in the United States since 2007. In New York, the number of motor vehicle fatalities increased approximately 10%, from 873 in 2019 to 963 in 2020, according to the data.

Reckless Driving and Liability

Speeding and reckless driving has been a scourge in New York City during the pandemic. The city has seen a number of fatal pedestrian accidents in 2020, even during coronavirus lockdowns when there has not been much traffic on the streets. We still see a number of pedestrian accidents taking place at intersections where negligent (careless) drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians.

Injured victims of speeding or reckless drivers can seek compensation from at-fault parties for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents can seek compensation for damages such as lost future income, medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering, etc.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Pedestrian accident victims and their families should remember that they may be able to seek compensation for injuries or losses in collisions even if the victim was not walking in a marked crosswalk and even if the driver involved in collision was not charged. Our law firm recovered the full one million dollar insurance policy for a girl who was not in the crosswalk when a motor vehicle hit her.

For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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