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Pedestrian fatalities may have hit 30-year high in 2019

| Aug 28, 2020 | Personal Injury

You may want to be more careful as a pedestrian in Indiana because the number of pedestrian deaths has been rising for over a decade. The Governors Highway Safety Administration released a preliminary report on traffic deaths in 2019, which estimated that there were 6,590 pedestrian fatalities that year.

Possibly the highest rate in 30 years

The GHSA says that this number represents a 60% increase from 2009 when 4,109 pedestrians died. Not only that, but the number is also the highest seen since 1988. The fatality rate amounted to 2.0 deaths per 100,000 people, which is only equaled by the fatality rate from 1997.

The report also pointed out which states had the most, or the highest rate of, pedestrian fatalities. The most pedestrian deaths occurred in Hawaii, Florida and New Mexico while Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho saw the lowest. Five states, which make up a third of the U.S. population, accounted for nearly half of the fatalities. They are:

  • California
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Florida

Distracted driving and SUVs partly to blame

Several factors may be behind the increase in pedestrian deaths. SUVs are twice as likely to kill a pedestrian in a crash as an ordinary car, and they are becoming more popular. In fact, they made up 69% of all new vehicle sales compared to 48% of sales in 2009. Additionally, more drivers are using their phones.

Recourse for injured pedestrians

When pedestrian accidents end in injuries and not death, victims can sometimes pursue a claim against the driver. This is where the concept of negligence comes into play. Oftentimes, pedestrians can become distracted or disobey traffic signs and signals, which will naturally make it harder for them to receive compensation. If you believe you have good grounds for a claim, though, a lawyer may be able to guide you.