In other parts of the world, including Japan and the E.U., pedestrian deaths have dropped by a third, thanks in part to the fact that the cars there are being designed to produce less injury to pedestrians. However, in the United States, we have seen pedestrian deaths rise every year since 2010.
In the period between 2010 to 2017 more than 40,000 pedestrians died in the U.S. The toll for 2018 alone was more than 6,000. This means that a pedestrian dies every hour-and-a-half. Keep reading to learn what’s to blame and what to do if you are injured in pedestrian accident or have lost a loved one in this type of accident.
Theories on Why Pedestrian Deaths Are Increasing
There is no way to know for sure how much each of the following affect pedestrian deaths but those who study these issues say that the following play some part in the increase:
- More people are driving.
- Cities and municipalities are slow to respond to requests for safety improvements at known dangerous intersections.
- Drivers and pedestrians alike are more likely to be distracted by smartphones.
- Some roads have a lack of adequate lighting, sidewalks, median islands, or turns that offer an obstruction-free view.
- Five- and six-lane roads with higher speed limits are often the main rods for travel.
- GPS navigation is more likely to send drivers and pedestrians down main roads which are often less safe than side roads.
Once again, experts may disagree about how much each of the above should be blamed for the rise in pedestrian deaths but they generally agree that some combination of those factors are at play.
Updates on Vision Zero
Sweden was the founder of the Vision Zero transportation safety initiative in which the goal was to reduce fatal car accidents to zero. Several major cities in the U.S. have now adopted it, including L.A., Orlando, New York, Charlotte, and San Francisco. The main steps involve lowering speed limits and installing barriers to protect pedestrians from traffic.
In New York alone, there was a 45% drop in pedestrian deaths after Vision Zero was implemented between 2013 and 2017. San Francisco saw the same reduction in deaths. On the other hand, Los Angeles has actually had an 80% increase in deaths since these initiatives were passed.
Do You Know What to Do if You Are Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident then your first step is to get medical care. Once you are safe, it is time to contact a personal injury attorney. Likewise, if you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident then you may benefit from a consultation with a personal injury attorney. The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help you – just call us at 800-333-0000.