When we hear the phrase “car accident” we typically think of
accidents involving 2 or more motor vehicles, but that isn’t always
the case. Many car accidents, especially fatal ones, involve pedestrians
and motor vehicles. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s
Spotlight on Highway Safety study, pedestrian traffic fatalities have
risen about 11% between 2015 and 2016. With the educated projections,
the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates 2016 could be the first
year in over 2 decades to surpass 6,000 recorded pedestrian deaths.
According to the report, the rise in fatalities is likely due to the healthier
economy, an increased number of people walking as a primary mode of transportation,
and distraction because of smartphone use. These three factors, along
with many others, are leading to the highest number in pedestrian fatalities
Certain pedestrian actions put them at a higher risk of being involved
in a car accident, such as crossing the street in an area other than the
crosswalk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests
that pedestrians who cross outside of designated intersections are at
a higher risk than those who use labeled crossing areas. The Governors
Highway Safety Association states that a staggering 82% of all pedestrian
traffic fatalities occur outside of designated intersections. Pedestrians
are also at a higher risk at night or when it is otherwise dark outside,
and in urban areas where traffic is more abundant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that alcohol
is often a factor in pedestrian fatalities. Roughly 49% of the traffic
accidents that resulted in pedestrian death involved alcohol consumption
by either the pedestrian or the driver.
In an effort to curb pedestrian accidents and significantly lower the number
of fatalities, state members have taken action to provide possible preventative
methods. Some of the most popular proposals included providing drivers
and pedestrians with better visibility, raising public information campaigns
for pedestrian danger in traffic accidents, and identifying particularly
risky areas that need improvement.
In order to keep the percentage of pedestrian fatalities in traffic accidents
from rising higher still in 2017, both motorists and pedestrians must
do their part to be safe. Pedestrians: always use designated crosswalks
when crossing the street, and remain on sidewalks when at all possible.
As a driver, always be aware of pedestrians and enter crosswalks slowly
and cautiously, even if you have a green light. Being a more mindful pedestrian
and a cautions driver can prevent you from being involved in a pedestrian
To read more about the Governors Highway Safety Association Pedestrian
Fatalities report, click here.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a pedestrian car accident,
you may have a personal injury case. Please contact Todd Miner Law
for a free consultation.