Traffic Accident Pedestrian Fatalities are Increasing
If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian-car crash in Virginia, don?t hesitate to contact Lugar Injury Law for help. Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, and we?re here to help your family pursue compensation from a negligent driver.
In 2019, pedestrian deaths throughout the U.S. hit their highest levels in 30 years, according to a Governors Highway Safety Administration report. Approximately 6,590 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year?an almost 5% rise from the 6,283 deaths suffered in 2018. Between 2009 and 2018, pedestrian deaths increased by 53%.
The news seems contradictory as U.S. traffic accident fatalities continue to fall. The roads seem safer. But the improved safety is for motorists and not people on foot. In 2009, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 12% of all car accident deaths, and by 2018, they made up 17% of all traffic fatalities.
Pedestrian Deaths Differ by State Significantly
Twenty states and Washington, D.C. managed to reduce pedestrian deaths between the first half of 2018 and the same period in 2019. Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Mississippi had double-digit reductions in that time. But 30 states had more pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2019 than the same time the year before.
Some states had very few pedestrian deaths, while others had a significant percentage of all U.S. pedestrian fatalities. Vermont had one pedestrian death in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas accounted for 47% of all pedestrian deaths in the country.
Pedestrian Deaths in Virginia
Virginia is in the middle of the crowd. In the first half of 2018, the state had 52 pedestrian deaths. During the same period of 2019, it experienced 57 pedestrian fatalities?a 10% increase. Fifteen states had more pedestrian fatalities during the beginning of 2019 than Virginia.
From January through June 2019, Virginia had 0.67 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. Twenty-seven states had a higher rate, with the highest rate in New Mexico at 2.24 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The lowest rate was Vermont, with 0.18 per 100,000 people.
Also, the Virginia DMV reported senior pedestrian deaths also rose in 2019. Last year, 37 seniors died in traffic accidents compared to 19 in 2018?a 95% increase.
Why Are Pedestrians Death on the Rise?
The GHSA speculates several issues contribute to rising pedestrian deaths, including:
- Smartphones and other distractions
- Lack of roadway lighting
- Lack of crosswalks
- Poor road design
- Alcohol and drug use by drivers and pedestrians
- More SUVs on the road
- Population growth
- Economic conditions
- Weather conditions
- Fuel prices
Virginia Pushes Education About Pedestrian Safety
Virginia is taking several steps to lower the number of pedestrian deaths in the state, including more pedestrian safety education. The Virginia DMC created a video, ?Eyes Meet to Cross Streets,? which it shared on social media. The video received more than 6,700 views on Facebook. Virginia DOT creates an Active Transportation newsletter, and the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Program newsletter is shared with 438 advocates throughout the state. Also, each year Drive Smart Virginia hosts an awareness month in September and works with numerous stakeholders to spread information about safely sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists.
Did You Lose a Relative in a Vehicle-Pedestrian Accident?
If your loved one was a pedestrian who was hit by a car and killed, please don?t hesitate to talk with a pedestrian accident attorney in Roanoke. At Lugar Injury Law, we have years of experience handling all types of car accident cases, including wrongful death lawsuits. We?ll work closely with your family and fight for full and fair compensation through insurance or litigation. We know money can?t bring back your relative. But compensation is essential to helping you pay your bills and move forward without additional financial strain.