Why Are Freeway Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise Throughout the Country?

Believe it or not, in many parts of the country, the number of deadly pedestrian deaths is on the rise not just on city streets but on highways as well. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are worried about this trend and hope to see fewer instances in the future. In the meantime, as personal injury attorneys who work to stay on top of the latest statistics, we are taking a look at possible reasons for this increase – and what some locales are doing about it.

Officials in Austin, Texas Are Looking Closely at the Problem

It’s only March but 13 pedestrians have already been killed crossing I-35 in Austin, Texas. While there is a focus on this particular area, the truth is that Austin is not the only place. About 800 pedestrian deaths occur each year on interstates and freeways. Most of them happened when pedestrians were trying to cross highways in urban areas, according to studies of the data.

A Closer Look at California Statistics

Almost all of the fatal pedestrian accidents in California that took place on freeways, took place where freeways separate residential areas from non-residential areas, such as commercial zones. In most cities throughout the United States, there are interstates or major highways that go through and separate these areas. It’s true that there were planning decisions made decades ago that led to this makeup, so why is the increase in accidents only now being seen?

What Can Be Done?

The IIHS president has some ideas on how these numbers can hopefully be reduced. First, they want residential communities that are located across freeways from entertainment districts, bus stations, or shopping centers to have physical barriers. They should be designed to prevent any pedestrian from crossing. They say this is doubly important if the commercial center has a bar or liquor store, as the pedestrian is then much more likely to be under the influence of alcohol – and so are the drivers on the highway / interstate.

Pedestrian Deaths Are on the Rise All Over the Country

Of course, highways aren’t the only place that pedestrian deaths are rising. We are seeing an increase across the country. From 2009 to 2018, there was a 53% increase in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents. That put these types of accidents at 17% of all traffic-related deaths. These types of fatal accidents on high-speed, controlled-access roads (like interstates) went up 60% in the same time period.

If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, or you have been injured in this type of accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 to request a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.