There has been a devastating increase in pedestrian accidents in recent years, with the Governors’ Highway Safety Association reporting a record increase from year-to-year in the number of people who died while walking in 2016 compared with in 2015.
Every fatal pedestrian accident is tragic, and this record increase means more lives were lost and more lives of family members were changed forever. Those affected by pedestrian crashes that caused serious or fatal injuries should consult with New York pedestrian accident lawyers for help as soon as possible in pursuing a legal claim for compensation for losses.
GHSA Reports Record Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities
According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an 11 percent increase is expected in the number of people who died while walking in 2016, compared with the number of pedestrians who lost their lives just one year prior. While GHSA is still waiting for final data from 2016, this is a very troubling projection based on the available information about pedestrian accident deaths.
According to the GHSA, if the projections are corrected: “This would represent the steepest year-to-year increase since record-keeping began, both in terms of number of deaths and percent increase.” The GHSA projections are based on the number of fatal accidents involving pedestrians that occurred in the first six months of 2016 and that the states reported.
During this six-month period, there were 2,660 pedestrians killed in collisions throughout the United States in 2016 while there were only 2,486 pedestrians who died in crashes during the same time period in 2015. The GHSA adjusted for underreporting because not every pedestrian accident is reported, and adjusted for full-year data trends to predict how many more pedestrians would be killed over the course of all of 2016.
This increase means that there has been an “unprecedented” rise in the number of fatal pedestrian crashes for two years in a row. Between 2014 and 2015, the pedestrian fatality rate also increased by around nine percent. This means that over two years, from 2014 to 2016, there was a total increase of around 22 percent in the number of pedestrians who died in car accidents.
Pedestrian fatalities now account for around 15 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents, and the increase in pedestrian deaths has become a big problem nationwide. More than twice as many states reported an increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2016 than reported a decrease in the number of pedestrians who died in collisions. Just 15 states and Washington D.C. said fewer pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents and one state had no change, while 34 states total saw their pedestrian fatality rates rise.
Improving economic conditions and falling gas prices have contributed to this increase in pedestrian accident fatalities as more motorists are driving more miles. These motorists need to do better at protecting vulnerable walkers.
When drivers are negligent, they should be held accountable for causing harm. Skilled pedestrian accident lawyers can represent injured pedestrians and their families, so give Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff a call if you or someone in your family suffers harm due to a motor vehicle collision while walking.