Pedestrian accidents are a major issue in the United States, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showing that there were 6,283 pedestrian fatalities in 2019 alone. With this number steadily increasing each year, it’s clear that something needs to be done to address this growing problem. In order to understand why these accidents are happening and how they can be prevented, it’s important to look at the data behind them.
The Current State of Pedestrian Accidents
According to NHTSA data, pedestrian deaths have been steadily increasing since 2009. The agency also reports that pedestrians now account for 16% of all traffic fatalities in the US – a notable increase from just 11% in 2009. This increase is being driven by numerous factors including an increase in distracted driving and an increase in vehicle speeds due to changes in road design and construction.
The effects of these accidents are far-reaching and devastating for those involved. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that pedestrian injuries cost Americans more than $89 billion each year – a figure which includes medical expenses as well as lost wages and productivity due to disability or death caused by such incidents.
Trends Behind Pedestrian Accidents
When examining data on pedestrian accidents, certain trends emerge which can provide insight into why these incidents occur so frequently and how they can be prevented moving forward. One trend is that most pedestrian fatalities occur at night – with 76% occurring between 6pm and 6am according to NHTSA statistics. This indicates that visibility plays a large role when it comes to avoiding such collisions, highlighting the need for better lighting on roads as well as improved visibility for pedestrians when crossing streets or walking near highways after dark.
Another trend is that pedestrians aged 65 or older account for 20% of all deaths even though they only make up 8% of the population – indicating an increased vulnerability among this age group when it comes to traffic collisions involving motor vehicles. Furthermore, males accounted for 69% of all pedestrian fatalities while females accounted for 31%. These figures indicate a greater risk among men when it comes to such incidents which could be due various factors including differences in behavior or physical stature between genders when walking near roads or crossing streets after dark.
How Can We Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
Fortunately there are steps that can be taken both individually and collectively which can help reduce instances of pedestrian accidents moving forward. For individuals, one step is being aware of your surroundings while walking near roads, especially at night. Wearing bright clothing, carrying flashlights, using crosswalks, looking both ways before crossing streets, avoiding distractions such as cell phones while walking near highways - all these things can help reduce your risk if you find yourself out on foot after dark.
On a larger scale, cities should prioritize making roads safer through measures such as improved lighting, lower speed limits where appropriate, increased enforcement against distracted drivers - all designed with pedestrians safety first. Additionally better education campaigns targeted towards drivers about sharing roadways safely with those on foot could go along way towards reducing instances of serious injury or death resulting from such incidents.
Finally Pacific Injury Law Firm(https://pacificinjurylawfirm.com/) provides legal services specific tailored towards those who have been injured by negligent drivers - offering counsel regarding insurance claims & other forms assistance during what may often times be difficult times following serious accident involving cars & pedestrians alike. With experienced Oregon pedestrian injury lawyers waiting to help with a free consultation, we can help you find resources you may not have known were available to you.
In conclusion while there still remains much work ahead before we will see any substantial decrease in cases involving pedestrians & motor vehicles - understanding current trends & doing our part both collectively & individually will help us move closer towards achieving our goal making sure everyone stays safe out there on our nation's roads & highways alike.