Pedestrian fatalities in the United States reached their highest level in 30 years even as the nation’s traffic accident fatalities overall have been falling. According to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an estimated 6,590 pedestrians were killed in car accidents last year, amounting to a nearly 5 percent increase from the 6,283 deaths in 2018.
Possible Causes for the Increase
Researchers say factors for this increase in pedestrian accident deaths may include drivers being distracted by smartphones; inadequate roadway lighting and crossing mechanisms; the large number of SUVs; and alcohol or drug impairment on the part of drivers. According to the report, the number of smartphones in active use nationwide has increased by more than 400% between 2009 and 2018.
The number of pedestrian fatalities has increased by more than 50 percent – from 4,109 in 2009 through 2018. Yet, the total number of all other types of traffic accident fatalities went up by only 2 percent in that period, the report states. Nearly half of all pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2019 occurred in just five states – California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona. The report cites warmer climates in those states as a potential factor.
Safety experts also say SUVs are more likely than cars to kill pedestrians because they weigh more and have a higher profile. The number of deadly incidents involving SUVs increased by 81 percent from 2009 to 2018 compared with a 53 percent increase for passenger cars. Despite educational efforts to bring down the number of DUI deaths, driving under the influence still remains a major factor in pedestrian accidents, the report says. Roughly 16 percent of drivers in pedestrian accidents had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, based on the report.
There has been a spate of pedestrian accident deaths in New York City recently. There have been six deaths over the last week in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx and two of the fatalities involved children 10 and under who were walking in school zones. Reckless drivers and drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections cause a majority of fatal pedestrian accidents in New York City. Under New York law, all drivers are required to come to a full stop at a crosswalk or intersection where pedestrians are crossing and yield until it is safe for them to proceed.
Who Can be held Responsible?
In pedestrian accident cases where negligence (carelessness) is established, drivers and their employers and other responsible parties can be held financially liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause, even if they are not criminally charged by the authorities. Injured victims will able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties seeking compensation for damages as well.
It is important to remember that pedestrian accident victims and their families may be able to seek compensation for injuries or losses in collisions even if they were not walking in a marked crosswalk and even if the driver has not been 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.
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.
For over 48 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 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.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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