In Connecticut, many people decide to avoid driving to locations within walking distance for a variety of reasons. It can save money on gas, walking is good exercise and the environment benefits from people shunning the urge to simply get in the car and go. However, that does not eliminate the risks people have for being in a pedestrian accident. Being hit by a motor vehicle can cause serious injuries and death. The lack of protection for pedestrians places them in great jeopardy.
Now, other concerns are arising with the release of a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) indicating that the number of fatal pedestrian accidents is the worst in nearly 30 years. There were more than 6,200 fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2018. That is the highest total since 1990 and 4 percent more than there were in 2017. The executive director of GHSA said that progress in lowering the number of fatalities in other areas has been positive, but pedestrian deaths have increased by 35 percent.
There are certain factors that researchers believe to be a significant part of the increase in pedestrian fatalities. People are using their vehicles less and walking more, increasing the chances of being in a crash; road crossings are not as safe as they should be and people walking at night are vulnerable with more than 90 percent of pedestrian deaths occurring after dark; drivers are moving at excessive speeds, driving while distracted, driving while fatigued and taking part in other risky behaviors; and more SUVs are on the road with studies showing that a big proportion of pedestrian fatalities involve these large, heavy vehicles.
Strategic initiatives to lower the number of pedestrian fatalities include improving vehicles and roads, making infrastructure projects a priority, educating drivers on safety and law enforcement cracking down on unsafe driving behaviors. After a pedestrian accident, lives can be changed in myriad ways. If the person survives, there will be medical expenses, lost wages and a radically altered lifestyle in the short-term or for an extended period. When there is a fatal pedestrian accident, the family must consider how they will move forward. In any case, a legal filing is often one of the main ways to recover adequate compensation. Discussing the case with a law firm that can investigate and pursue a claim after pedestrian accidents is a critical first step.