In 2019, there were almost 7,000 pedestrian deaths in the United States. Many of these deaths occurred right here in New York. Municipalities and other governments need to reconsider the laws and the ways that drivers interact with pedestrians in order to bring down the number of fatalities. While other traffic deaths remained steady, the number of pedestrians struck and killed has become unacceptably high.
A decade of fatality increases
Pedestrian fatalities began increasing in 2009 after nearly two decades of falling. The number of pedestrians killed has grown steadily over the last decade. In 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities stood at just over 4,000. Thus, the 2019 death toll is not just an increase, but it’s also a significant one. Even as vehicles have become safer and passenger deaths have decreased, the roads and sidewalks are becoming more dangerous for those who are walking.
There may be several reasons for the increase
There is no one reason why more pedestrians are dying. However, some are speculating that the increased popularity of SUVs and light trucks has been causing the spike in deaths. Vehicles are heavier, and this makes the roads safer for drivers but more dangerous for pedestrians. Now, almost 70% of the vehicles sold in this country are light trucks, meaning there are larger cars on the road. In addition, drivers may not be stopping at crosswalks and yielding to pedestrians because there has been an increase in distracted driving because of cell phone use.
If you have been struck and injured as a pedestrian, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation if the driver has been negligent. You should retain the services of a pedestrian accidents attorney to begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the driver who was responsible for your injuries. Your attorney could assist with negotiating on your behalf as you work towards a settlement.