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Why are pedestrian deaths at a 40-year high?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2023 | Wrongful Death

In recent years, the United States has witnessed an alarming trend on its nation’s roads: Pedestrian deaths are soaring. 

More pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2022 than in any year since 1981 – but that upward trend has been happening for at least a decade now. 

What’s going on? Why are pedestrian deaths rising?

With all the modern safety features in cars, including backup cameras and forward collision warning sensors, it seems like pedestrian death rates should be dropping, not rising. However, there are several different reasons it’s likely happening:

  • Distracted driving is worse: It’s not a coincidence that smartphones came out right as pedestrian deaths started to increase. Drivers (and some pedestrians) continue to be distracted by cellular devices, despite all of the rules now in place to curb that behavior.
  • Drivers are going faster: Speeding became a bigger issue in 2020 when the roads were emptier. Even though traffic is largely back to normal, a lot of jurisdictions are still reporting problems with “super speeders” and aggressive drivers.
  • The roads still aren’t designed for walkers: City infrastructures are designed largely for vehicles, not foot traffic. While many urban areas are trying to remodel, the absence of crosswalks in certain areas, inadequate street lighting and more continue to contribute to the problem.
  • People are driving bigger vehicles: The American love affair with the SUV is undeniable, and SUVs are heavy and tall. A bump from an SUV can do a lot more damage than a bump from a compact car.

You don’t have to be in a car to suffer from a car accident. If you were injured while walking due to someone’s negligent or reckless behavior, find out more about your legal options.


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