For the first time in 26 years, pedestrian fatalities in the United States have increased. Currently, car-versus-pedestrian accidents account for 15 percent of all traffic-related deaths annually. Projected data indicates this number is not likely to drop anytime soon, unless changes are implemented to increase pedestrian safety near high traffic areas.
A report published recently by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association determined an alarming ten percent more pedestrians were killed in collisions with cars, trucks or other vehicles in 2015, as opposed to 2014. This rise in fatalities may be a result of younger generations using transportation alternative more and driving less.
While the advancement of safety features in modern vehicles, such as automatic braking and collision avoidance technology, has led to a welcomed decline in motorist fatalities, very little advancements have been made to ensure pedestrian safety.
In several European countries, safety regulators are now requiring auto manufacturers to build vehicles out of shock-absorbing materials that will better protect a pedestrian in the event of a collision. The United States currently has no such requirements.
Although more pedestrians are walking along the nation’s roadways, infrastructure changes to accommodate this shift are rare. Some changes that may be beneficial include lowering speed limits, installing sidewalks and walkways, and adding highly visible crosswalks in areas with pedestrian traffic. In the absence of such safety measures, it becomes especially important for drivers to be aware of and yield to pedestrians.
Accidents of this nature can be fatal or leave surviving victims with serious personal injuries. If you or someone you love were involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.