The troubling rise of pedestrian deaths

A preliminary report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has some grim news for pedestrians and drivers alike: Pedestrian traffic deaths are climbing -- again. In fact, the number of pedestrians killed in 2018 was higher than any year since 1990.

According to the study, the news was fairly grim overall:

  • There were a total of 6,227 pedestrians killed in 2018. That is four percent more than were killed in 2017.
  • Even though 23 states managed to decrease the number of pedestrian deaths, 25 other states saw increases.
  • In Louisiana, there were approximately 77 pedestrians killed in the first half of 2018 -- compared to 69 killed in the same period of time in 2017, reflecting a 12 percent increase in deaths.
  • From 2008 through 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by a horrifying 35 percent -- even as other traffic deaths decreased by six percent during the same period.

In addition to the general figures regarding pedestrian deaths, the study also showed something rather surprising: The majority of pedestrians who died were killed on local city streets rather than highways, interstates or country roads. This suggests that even when pedestrians have the advantage of traffic lights and sidewalks, they aren't free of danger. In fact, they may even be more prone to it.

The study also suggests that deaths among pedestrians may be increasing because there are so many large vehicles on the roads these days. Fatalities involving pedestrians and passenger cars climbed 30 percent since 2013. Those involving sport utility vehicles went up 50 percent during the same time period.

When a pedestrian is hurt or killed by the negligent actions of a driver, it's important to reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss the situation. The victim and his or her family members are entitled to compensation for their losses.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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