U.S. Pedestrian Deaths

There is an alarming rise in pedestrian deaths, in 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in traffic, with half of those deaths being in five states, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.  This is a significant increase compared to a decade earlier in 2008, when 4,109 pedestrians were killed. The last time the number of pedestrian deaths were as high as they are now was in 1990, when 6,482 were killed.

From 2008 to 2017, overall deaths related to traffic fell 6%, however pedestrian deaths rose 35% over the time period.

The National Complete Streets Coalition reports that cities in Florida account for eight of the ten most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians, with the state ranking first in the United States for the number of pedestrian deaths, with 5,433 deaths occurring between 2008 and 2017.

The Governors Highway Safety Association found that from 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian deaths during the night increased by 45% and daytime fatalities rose by 11%.

In the fall and winter, there tends to be an increase in pedestrian deaths, as the days are shorter and the darkness falls sooner, making it more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.

Furthermore, the Governors Highway Safety Association states that the increase in pedestrian fatalities is influenced by alcohol use, speeding, unsafe infrastructure and the increased number of SUVs on the road, as well as an increase in the use of smartphones, and distracted driving.

With smartphone use on the rise, drivers and pedestrians are at risk of being increasingly distracted.  According to the Governors Highway Safety Association report, the number of smartphones in active use increased more than five times between 2009 and 2017.

The director of the National Complete Streets Coalition states that because citizens are driving more and driving bigger cars, this has lead to an increase in pedestrian deaths. 

There are measures cities are taking to try to prevent such deaths, such as redesigning dangerous streets, reducing speed limits, and giving pedestrians a chance to start walking in the crosswalk before cars are allowed to proceed.

Recently, Florida invested $100 million to improve lighting in about 2,500 locations throughout the state to make it easier to see pedestrians using or crossing roads at night.  

Further, collision avoidance systems have led to a 35% reduction in pedestrian related insurance claims according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and regulators are looking to place this technology in more cars in the future.

An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona can investigate fault, hire necessary experts and advise a collision victim, or his or her family regarding claims for injuries and damages.  Litigation may be necessary to obtain a fair resolution.  

Thanks to the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into personal injury claims and U.S. pedestrian death statistics.