Walking seems like a perfectly safe means of getting around, right? Increasingly, however, evidence suggests otherwise. An alarming report from the Governors Highway Safety Association suggests that pedestrian deaths are on the rise. In 2018, for example, an estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles. Shockingly, projections indicate that 2018 saw the largest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990.
What’s behind this rise in fatalities — and what can be done to keep pedestrians safe? Read on to find out.
What Causes Pedestrian Deaths?
A variety of factors may be to blame for the sudden increase in pedestrian deaths. Experts believe that smartphones are to blame, with people increasingly staring down at screens as they walk. Because they are not paying attention to their surroundings, these individuals are far more vulnerable to risks they’d easily bypass if they avoided phone-based distractions.
While many experts blame pedestrian fatalities on smartphones, some believe that the legalization of marijuana could also play a role. The states that recently legalized cannabis have seen alarming increases in pedestrian deaths, while the rate of such fatalities actually dropped in other states.
Several practical solutions can be implemented on a municipal scale to keep pedestrians safe. Examples include more street lights, traffic circles, curb extensions, and rapid-flashing beacons. Until then, a few personal precautions can make a huge difference. When possible, limit walking after dark or under the influence — and resist the temptation to look at your phone. As a driver, you can do your part by sticking to the speed limit and limiting distractions behind the wheel.
Were you or a loved one injured as a pedestrian? If negligence played a role, you could be eligible for damages. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC at your earliest convenience to learn more.