How Can We Impact the Pedestrian Accident Fatality Epidemic?
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 7,500 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways in 2022 alone, with an almost 80 percent increase in pedestrian deaths due to accidents just from 2010 to 2021. These increases represent 40-year highs for pedestrian accident fatalities.
Fixing this epidemic is not only going to require more responsible drivers, but more responsible cities to rethink pedestrian and vehicle infrastructure, with the goal of ultimately reducing traffic speeds. It will also require putting in place some disincentives to slow down the purchase of the bigger SUVs and trucks, as well as instilling more effective traffic enforcement and the use of traffic cameras, and imposing meaningful penalties for offenders. In short, reducing pedestrian fatalities as the result of auto accidents will require everyone to prioritize safety.
Pedestrians & Others No Match for Huge Vehicles
A significant cause of the striking increase in pedestrian accidents and fatalities involves the proliferation of bigger, heavier vehicles involved in these accidents, posing a growing danger to both pedestrians and cyclists. These vehicles are harder to control, with more blind spots, and more power when it comes to physically coming into contact with bystanders, even when traveling at the same speed as smaller, compact cars. For example, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, at residential and city speeds of 20 to 39 miles per hour, 30 percent of pedestrian crashes with SUVs resulted in fatalities (compared to 23 percent pedestrian crashes with regular cars), and at 40 miles per hour, all crashes with SUVs resulted in pedestrian fatalities (compared to just over half of accidents with regular cars). Adult pedestrians hit by SUVs and trucks typically experience impact at the legs or torso –suffering severe injuries – while children impacted will be crushed outright.
Dangerous Road Design
There is also the issue of the infrastructure of our roads and streets, many of which are simply not safe enough for pedestrians to walk on. This is especially problematic in disadvantaged neighborhoods, where these communities have fewer marked crosswalks, parks, sidewalks, and other measures to calm traffic and provide respite to pedestrians. People walking in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to be struck and killed compared to those walking in higher-income areas, and both Black and Native Americans are more likely to die as pedestrians hit by cars than any other group.
If You’ve Been Hurt or Lost a Loved One, Contact Our Macon, Georgia Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you have lost someone in this epidemic of pedestrian violence, or been injured yourself in such an accident, it is imperative that you speak with a local injury and wrongful death attorney right away in order to learn more about what options you have to hold those responsible accountable. Contact the Macon, Georgia pedestrian accident attorneys at the Law Offices Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today to find out how we can be of assistance.