Pedestrian Deaths in U.S. See 15 Percent Rise Since 2009

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, revealed that there were 8.7 percent fewer pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2013 than there were for same period the year prior. The downturn is particularly notable because pedestrian fatalities had been on a long upward trend with a 15 percent increase from 2009 to 2012. 

Recent Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The GHSA attributed that increase to increased driver distraction (cellphones), as well as the national economic decline during that period for an increase in pedestrian accidents. Economic depressions (and increased gas prices) means that people are more apt to opt for walking as a means of transportation.

But experts have no clue as to what has contributed to the recent decline in pedestrian fatalities. During the first six months of 2012, 2,175 pedestrians died in traffic accidents; during the same period in 2013, 1,985 died.

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Also, the Governors’ report noted that in the first half of 2013, pedestrian fatalities decreased in 25 states, yet they increased in 20 states. The rate in five states remained unchanged. Location may have something to do with it as, “Pedestrian deaths are largely an urban phenomenon,” the report reads.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that has made a lot of headway in reducing pedestrian accidents. Fatalities dropped from 81 in the first half of 2012 to 52 in 2013, a decrease of 35 percent.

Initiatives to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents

There are numerous national and state initiatives in place aimed at increasing roadway safety for all road users. These include a mix of education, enforcement and engineering countermeasures that address pedestrian safety.

Examples of efforts that can reduce risks for pedestrians include the following.

  • Educational campaigns that encourage pedestrians and motorists law-abiding behavior and safety habits
  • New laws and better enforcement
  • Engineering and environmental fixes, e.g., improved roadway designs, adding more crosswalks, better marked crosswalks, etc. “Improved infrastructure and crossings are the best countermeasures to reduce crashes,” notes the GHSA.
  • Vehicle designs changes, e.g. cars equipped with rear cameras that may prevent back-over collisions with pedestrians
  • Adding red light and speed cameras to reduce drivers’ speed (an important factor in pedestrian accidents)

Pedestrian Accident Victims May Be Able to Pursue a Settlement

Worldwide, pedestrians make up 22 percent of the 1.24 million yearly traffic deaths, the report noted. It’s an alarming number of preventable deaths.

Fortunately, victims in Pennsylvania (or their families) have the right to pursue compensation for damages from any at-fault parties in the accident. To determine eligibility for recompense or for help pursuing a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC. Call 215-642-2335 for a consultation or fill out this easy contact form.