Pedestrian Deaths Are at an All-Time High
Distracted drivers kill people, and not just their fellow motorists. The death rate of pedestrians, those crossing the road or walking alongside it, is currently at an all-time high. According to a report compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association, over 6,000 pedestrians lost their lives in 2018. That is 6,200 people too many. Despite signs on the roads warning drivers of crosswalks, people still fail to pay attention. All it takes is a split second glancing down at a smartphone or at the radio to cause a fatal pedestrian accident.
The Data Explains Some of the Reasons
Although drivers failing to focus on their surroundings causes some of these accidents, there are additional reasons. The proliferation of SUVs and light trucks, which weigh more than cars, accounts for the uptick in pedestrian deaths. A heavier vehicle traveling at the same rate of speed as a small car can catapult a pedestrian farther, causing fatal injuries.
Many people in United States elect not to drive or cannot afford to drive. These individuals travel on foot from place to place, even if they have to walk on the side of the highway. Despite signs prohibiting this practice, people still do so and end up paying the ultimate price. Highway drivers travel at high rates of speed resulting in catastrophic injuries when they strike a pedestrian. Some engineering experts have lamented on the fact that they build their highway systems for vehicles, and neglect to leave space for pedestrians.
Pedestrians aren’t innocent either. Some pedestrians are at fault. Some walk on the side of the road paying attention to their cell phones instead of the traffic around them. Others jaywalk, especially where there is a lack of crosswalks. Still, distracted drivers are primarily to blame.
States Put Laws in Place to Punish Distracted Drivers
Some states have developed legislation that punishes distracted drivers. Rhode Island saw a 60% reduction in fatal driving incidents after enacting their laws. Florida may be the next state in line to enact anti-distraction laws as it has some of the worst distracted driving statistics.
For the most part, the laws work to protect the pedestrian, but they may not be enough. People will still drive distracted and pedestrians are at risk. Those walking on the side of the road are vulnerable, especially if they too aren’t paying attention. Both parties need to take caution.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver while walking on the side of the road, call me. I’ll Make Them Pay!®
DISCLAIMER “Please understand the slogan, I’ll Make Them Pay!® is not a guarantee of payment. Both liability and real damages must be proven with a preponderance of the evidence.”