Pedestrians in Louisiana must always be vigilant about their surroundings when they are sharing the area near roadways with motor vehicles. The dangers of being a car accident victim as a pedestrian are obvious. People who do not have the protection of a vehicle can be severely injured and even killed when hit by a car. Despite new safety features being implemented in vehicles, the risks are still significant for pedestrians. This is shown in a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association that has examined the data from the first half of 2017.
According to its estimates, there were almost 6,000 fatal pedestrian accidents last year. The levels have remained static for 2016 and 2017 and are at the highest levels they have been in 25 years. In 2016, pedestrians accounted for about 16 percent of motor vehicle fatalities. Just a decade earlier, it was 11 percent.
The executive director of GHSA says that the spike in pedestrian fatalities should not be so high. Several factors are believed to be important in the increase in pedestrian accidents. Smartphone use and the resulting number of motorists who become a distracted driver is one. Also, the legalization of marijuana use is believed to be raising the risk in states where people can use the substance free of worry about arrest and are then getting behind the wheel. As always, drinking alcohol is a concern with a pedestrian-auto accident.
The GHSA advises lowering speed limits and being more proactive in enforcing these laws. The current estimates state that there were 5,984 pedestrian deaths in 2017. The number stems from the first six months in which the statistics say there were 2,636 pedestrians killed. In 2016, there were 5,987 such fatalities across the U.S. Between 2007 and 2014, there were fewer than 5,000 annually. Since 2009, the numbers have been rising.
People who have been hit by a motor vehicle will undoubtedly be concerned about their future. Medical costs, lost time on the job, the inability to contribute to a family and lifelong problems are all possibilities after a pedestrian accident. For those whose loved one died after a pedestrian crash, these problems are magnified. A lawsuit is a potential way to recover compensation for all that was lost. A lawyer who is well-versed in helping people who have had their lives upended by pedestrian-car accidents can be consulted.
Source: wsj.com, “U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Near 6,000 for Second Straight Year, Report Says,” Scott Calvert, Feb. 28, 2018