Pedestrians in Louisiana and across the nation are at risk of serious injuries and death if they are hit by a motor vehicle. Legislators and law enforcement are taking steps to try and reduce the number as the issue has grown worse in recent years. While this is laudable, those who have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian must remember their rights to seek compensation in a legal filing. Part of that is understanding the statistics for pedestrian accidents and the reasons why they happen.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), one of the reasons there are so many pedestrian accidents is inadequate headlights. New vehicles should address these shortcomings to improve safety. The regulations for headlights are outdated and need updating with the goal of better pedestrian safety.
The statistics for pedestrian deaths indicate that the problem is worsening. From 2007 to 2016, there was a reduction in fatalities in auto accidents overall, lowered by 14 percent. However, there was a 27 percent spike in pedestrian deaths. From 2009 to 2016, the number of deaths rose by 46 percent.
There was no definitive statement as to what caused this rise in pedestrian fatalities, but the NTSB thinks vehicle safety and infrastructure maintenance can help to make pedestrians safer. Currently, there is a federal rule against so-called “adaptive” headlights that change based on oncoming traffic for greater safety.
Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that the headlights on vehicles today perform poorly. Other ideas to make pedestrians safer are improvements to vehicle hoods and avoidance systems. The NTSB believes that improving how data is collected, updates to the regulations, vehicle design improvements and upgrades to infrastructure will help pedestrians.
As with many crashes today, distracted driving is also a major reason. SUV sales are cited as a cause since the odds of a fatality are drastically increased when the pedestrian is hit by an SUV. A pedestrian who is hit by a motor vehicle is almost assured an injury.
The only question is how severe the injuries are and the long-term consequences. Medical expenses, lost wages and other problems will arise. If there is a death, the family will have a whole set of other concerns. A lawsuit is frequently the only way to receive adequate compensation. A law firm experienced in pedestrian-car accidents will understand the statistics, causes and other factors and use the information as part of a claim.