Most Louisianans understand the need to be cautious when walking near streets. Given the number of distracted drivers, motorists who are under the influence, and reckless or negligent driver, there is always a chance that a pedestrian-auto accident will occur. Statistics regarding pedestrian accidents and fatalities give a sense of the scope of the problem.
A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that there were more than 6,200 pedestrian fatalities in 2018. The total is a rise of 250 from 2017. This is the most pedestrian fatalities since 1990. GHSA used the statistics for the first half of 2018 to come to its conclusions. The number of pedestrian fatalities has increased by more than 50 percent since its low point in 2009 when there were slightly more than 4,100. These fatalities now account for 16 percent of all road deaths. Road deaths, too, have increased from 2009, rising by 12 percent.
It is believed that more people have smartphones and are driving SUVs and these two factors have played a substantial role in the rise in deaths. Most deaths occurred at night. Alcohol was a factor in around half of the fatalities in 2017. Most pedestrian deaths involve passenger cars, but SUV involvement has risen by 50 percent since 2013. Passenger car fatalities rose 30 percent in that same time-period.
Another reason for the increase in pedestrian fatalities is the fact that more people are walking rather than driving. The number of individuals who have chosen to do so has increased by four percent in the decade from 2007 to 2016. More pedestrians means there is an increased chance of a crash and a fatality. Smartphone use is also a glaring concern for pedestrians, with the number of people who have one of these devices multiplying by four from 2010 to 2017. Drivers freely admit to talking, texting, emailing, and partaking in other activities on their devices when behind the wheel.
Pedestrians' vulnerability is always a concern, but this report indicates that at a time when safety should be improving due to technological advances and information, it is only getting worse. Since pedestrian accidents can cause severe injuries and lifelong problems, victims and their families should consider having legal help to determine if legal action is justified. A law firm that understands how to pursue compensation after pedestrian-car accidents may be able to provide advice and aggressive representation.