Pedestrian Fatalities Are Skyrocketing in the U.S.
When a pedestrian is hurt or killed in an auto accident, the incident could be life-altering for the walker or his family. A Miami personal injury lawyer can represent the pedestrian in an injury claim or his family in a wrongful death case to help obtain compensation for losses.
Unfortunately, a growing number of pedestrians are losing their lives in auto accidents, according to the Detroit Free Press. In fact, a new report shows that there has been a dramatic increase in pedestrians dying in collisions since 2009, and the increase is so significant that it is being treated as an emerging public health crisis.
Pedestrian Accident Deaths are Increasing in the United States
According to Detroit Free Press, there has been a 46 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in the United States since 2009. This is a far more significant increase in the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents compared with the overall increase in traffic deaths. The growing number of pedestrians killed has resulted in pedestrian accounting for 16 percent of traffic fatalities in 2016 compared with in 2007 when pedestrians comprised just 11 percent of victims of fatal auto accidents.
In 2016 alone, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents in the United States. Men are killed more frequently than women are killed, and pedestrian accidents leading to fatalities are often more likely to occur at night than during the daytime.
Experts are working to try to explain the dramatic increase in pedestrians who are killed in motor vehicle collisions, with some possible reasons for the rise in pedestrian fatalities including more driver distraction, more people texting while they walk, and the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, which has led to more drugged driving accidents.
Recent research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also shows that there has been a huge increase in the number of single-vehicle pedestrian accidents involving only a pedestrian and an SUV. In fact, there was an 81 percent increase in the number of pedestrians dying in an accident involving a sport utility vehicle from 2009 to 2016.
This is likely because so many more people are driving SUVs, and it can be more difficult for drivers of SUVs to see pedestrians. The trend towards more motorists choosing SUVs over passenger cars is only expected to accelerate in upcoming years as well. In fact, Ford has announced it will be discontinuing selling many passenger cars for the United States market in order to focus on SUVs because that is what consumers want.
The problem is, SUVs have higher front ends and have a more vertical design than most passenger cars. The vehicle size makes it more likely accidents with pedestrians will occur and also more likely that those accidents will be fatal.
If your loved one is among the many pedestrians killed in an auto accident, a Miami personal injury lawyer can provide you with representation as you pursue a wrongful death claim. Contact an attorney today to learn more.