Across the U.S., traffic collisions involving motorists have gone down annually for the third year in a row, but not for pedestrians. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), there were 17 pedestrian deaths each day in 2018 – a 43 percent increase from 2008.
The GAO has an explanation as to why we’re seeing such a staggering increase in pedestrian deaths.
Lack of communication about pedestrian tests
After analyzing crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the GAO found that from 2008-2018, the vehicles involved in pedestrian deaths most were sport utility vehicles, or SUVs.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs increased by 81 percent from 2009-2016. That’s because SUVs have higher front ends, which causes injuries to the upper part of the body. In addition, their size and weight make them more deadly to pedestrians.
In addition, the GAO reviewed reports released by the NHTSA and interviewed its officials. They found that the NHTSA proposed pedestrian safety tests for its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) from 13 car makers representing 70 percent of new car sales.
Nine car makers reported a lack of communication about pedestrian safety tests from the NHTSA. In response, the GAO recommended that the NHTSA develop a plan to expand its pilot program, consider including pedestrian safety tests in its NCAP, and supply documentation for NCAP changes.
Poor roadway infrastructure
The IIHS found crucial data that may also explain why pedestrian deaths are rising. Pedestrian fatalities went up by:
- 54 percent in metropolitan areas
- 67 percent on arterial roads
- 50 percent at non-intersections
- 56 during nighttime hours
To help mitigate the rate of pedestrian fatalities in these settings, the IIHS suggested these infrastructural improvements:
- Build safer crossing areas for pedestrians on main roadways, especially arterials.
- Alert drivers of pedestrians with pedestrian-activated beacons.
- Install more sidewalks.
- Install curb extensions and median crossing islands.
- Use more speed cameras to enforce existing limits.
- Make improvements to lighting at night or install more lighting.
- Improve headlight quality on cars.
- Implement pedestrian detection technology on cars.
- Make SUV front ends safer to reduce harm to pedestrians.
Sarasota attorneys serving injured pedestrians
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, get an experienced Sarasota attorney on your side who can help you pursue justice.
Pedestrian accidents often result in:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
The attorneys at Farrow & Pulice can help you get compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. To find out how we can help you, fill out our contact form online or call us at 866-408-1220 to schedule your free case evaluation.