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Study shows increase in fatal pedestrian-car accidents

The roads in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. have become increasingly treacherous for many reasons. One aspect that is a growing concern is the number of pedestrian accidents that are happening. Since pedestrians have no protection and must rely on the sidewalk, crosswalks, traffic lights and stop signs among other things designed to prevent drivers from operating their vehicles without stopping, a crash between a car and a pedestrian can cause severe injuries and death. Research is examining the growing trend of pedestrian-auto accidents and has come to troublesome conclusions regarding the problem.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by nearly half in 2016 compared to 2009. In 2016, there were 5,987 pedestrian deaths. This is in comparison to the low point in 2009. From 1975 to 2009, there was a steady reduction of 20 percent in pedestrian fatalities. There has been a worrying reversal in these crash statistics. Part of the reason is believed to be the prevalence of SUVs on the road.

IIHS says that there was an increase of 81 percent in fatal crashes with SUVs. This is greater than other kinds of vehicles. The size, power and speeds at which SUVs travel is believed to be a significant factor in this issue. Urban areas have had a rise in pedestrian fatalities of 54 percent. Urban areas include suburbs and cities. 67 percent occurred on so-called "arterials," where vehicles enter freeways. 56 percent happened in the dark. Half occurred at non-intersections. It is possible that the problems stem from a lack of sidewalks, visibility issues, drivers being unaware of when pedestrians have the right-of-way, faulty traffic lights and the number of drivers who drive at excessive speed.

Since the economy has gotten stronger, it has resulted in more people being on the road, creating a greater chance for a crash. 4,453 of those 5,987 people who died in a pedestrian-auto accident were hit in the dark. When there is a car crash involving a pedestrian, the pedestrian will inevitably get the worst of it. There can be brain injuries, injuries to the spinal cord, cuts, broken bones, lost limbs and other issues. People will accrue significant medical expenses and lose time on the job. And, when families lose a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident, they will be forced to come to grips with the unexpected death and deal with financial and personal ramifications. A lawsuit may help with recovering compensation after these car accidents.

Source: upi.com, "Pedestrian deaths up 49% since 2009: report," Ray Downs, May 8, 2018

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