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Pedestrian Deaths Have Reached a New Peak, According to the NHTSA

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian deaths reached a new and tragic peak. In the year 2018 alone, researchers found that approximately 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents — that’s more than a 3% increase from 2017 and the most deaths in almost thirty years. Based on estimated in the first half of 2019, researchers believe that this upward trend will continue.

So what’s causing all of these deaths? According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrians are almost twice as likely to be killed in a collision than a car occupant. Some of the most common risk factors include:

  • Distracted drivers – Distracted driving has been cited as one of the leading causes of fatal vehicle collisions. If a driver is distracted by a phone or other task, they are significantly more likely to injure — or kill — a pedestrian.
  • Driving over the speed limit – Even vehicles traveling at relatively low speeds can cause the human body devastating injury upon impact. If a driver is moving too fast, slamming down on the breaks isn’t enough to avoid a fatal collision with a pedestrian.
  • Intoxicated driving – Drivers under the influence of alcohol are statistically more likely to be at-fault in a severe car accident. Not only is driving under the influence illegal in all fifty states, but it also puts both drivers and pedestrians at risk for being involved in a fatal collision.
  • Failure to yield or stop for pedestrians – Pedestrian traffic laws can be nuanced and difficult to understand. Sometimes, drivers who are unaware of these laws do not realize when pedestrians have the right-of-way. As a result, drivers can often fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in situations where they should have.
  • Inclement weather conditions – A vehicle’s tires can lose a significant amount of traction on roads with rain, snow, sleet, or ice. These conditions put drivers at a higher risk of skidding, swerving, or spinning out. If a driver loses control of their vehicle, they may not be able to avoid a severe collision with a pedestrian.
  • Left turns – According to a study from the United States Department of Transportation, pedestrians have a higher chance of being hit by a left-turning vehicle than a right-turning vehicle. This heightened risk is due to a “visibility impairment” that a driver experiences while making a left turn. Because of this impairment, a driver may not even see a pedestrian before it is too late.
  • Backing up – Drivers must check their rear and side-view mirrors before backing up anywhere — even in their driveways. Child pedestrians are especially at risk for back-up accidents, as they can be too short for drivers to detect.

Hurt in an accident as a pedestrian? Hach & Rose, LLP can help you

Car accidents involving pedestrians are significantly more likely to result in severe injury or fatality than other motor vehicle collisions. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a pedestrian collision, contact our team of experienced attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP for help.We will work to get you the compensation you need to pay your bills, repair or replace your damaged bike, and help you focus on recovery if you’re unable to work.  Call us at (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free consultation today.


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