Since 2009, Pedestrian Deaths Have Risen Sharply

- Charles Argento

The number of roadway fatalities has risen steadily across all types of accidents in recent years. However, the rate of fatalities among pedestrians has risen even faster than the fatality rate of any other form of roadway accident. Read on to learn more about the increase in pedestrian accidents, and contact a seasoned Texas personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Houston.

Rate of pedestrian fatalities rises by 46%

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released a study which showed that pedestrian deaths on American roads rose by 46% between their all-time low in 2009 and 2016. 5,987 pedestrians died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016. In 2009, only 4,109 pedestrians were killed on the road. 2016’s pedestrian fatality total is the highest since 1990, when 6,482 pedestrians were killed on the road. The rise in pedestrian deaths accounted for 52% of the increase in deaths on American highways between 2009 and 2016. Experts are not sure of the reasons for the rise in pedestrian fatalities, but speculate that an increase in driving, greater interest in being healthy and physically active, and rising speed limits may be contributing factors.

How can pedestrian deaths be avoided?

Since the reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths aren’t entirely clear, there are no easy solutions for how to fix the problem of soaring pedestrian deaths. That said, the authors of the IIHS study as well as other roadway safety experts have offered a number of fixes that could improve pedestrian safety, such as:

  • Increasing the number of crosswalks: pedestrians are more likely to cross a street between intersections where there are few crosswalks available. Providing more protected crosswalks for pedestrians has been found to reduce fatalities.
  • Improved vehicle design: Studies show that pedestrian deaths rise along with the popularity of SUVs, trucks, and vans. These vehicles are more likely to have vertical, higher front ends that hit pedestrians in the head and chest, causing fatal injuries. Redesigning these vehicles could reduce deaths among pedestrians.
  • Reducing distracted driving: Drivers who are preoccupied with their phones tend to look up at the road for briefer amounts of time, causing them to miss smaller objects in the roadway, such as pedestrians. Reducing distracted driving would lower crash rates overall, but particularly among pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a Texas pedestrian accident, get help seeking the compensation you deserve for your injuries by contacting the effective and professional Houston personal injury lawyer Charles A. Argento for a free consultation at 713-225-5050.