6,590 pedestrians died after being hit by motor vehicles in 2019.
In 2020, our cars are more technologically advanced than ever before. We have navigation systems, back-up cameras, and even sensors that alert us of possible hazards. Yet despite all of these features — many of which come standard on modern cars — more pedestrians than ever before are being hit and killed by cars.
According to a new report from the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 6,590 pedestrians died in 2019 after being struck by a vehicle. This is a 5% increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018, and the highest number in more than 30 years.
As a California personal injury attorney can explain, there are many reasons why pedestrian accidents have increased. Both pedestrians and drivers alike use smart phones more than ever before, which leads to both distracted driving — and distracted walking. There are also more SUVs on the road than ever before; their large size means that pedestrians hit by these hulking vehicles are less likely to survive. Walking and driving under the influence also plays a role in these higher numbers, as 33% of all pedestrians who were killed in 2019 were impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. 16% of the drivers who were involved in these accidents were under the influence at the time. Road design that does not account for pedestrian traffic has also led to an increase in these types of accidents. Finally, 75% of pedestrian fatalities in 2019 occurred at night — making walking in the dark a contributing factor to many of these accidents.
If you have been hit by a car as a pedestrian and suffered injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and more. A California personal injury attorney can advocate for you, and help you recover a settlement or award. If your loved one has been killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit. This type of lawsuit can be filed by surviving family members, and may result in a settlement or judgment for burial expenses, lost earning capacity of the victim, and loss of companionship and support.
There are a number of things that each of us can do to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents. Both drivers and walkers should minimize distractions, which means putting our phones away and staying alert to our surroundings. Drivers and pedestrians alike should avoid driving or walking under the influence — which can make an accident more likely. To reduce the risk of nighttime collisions, pedestrians should stick to well-lit areas and drivers should be particularly aware of the possibility of nighttime walkers. Pedestrians should try to stay visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing, and only walk in safe places — like on a sidewalk, or if one isn’t available, at the far side of the road facing traffic.
PLBSH represents people who have been injured in pedestrian collisions and other types of accidents throughout California. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with an experienced California personal injury attorney.