Nobody is exactly sure why there has been an increasing number of pedestrians being killed in accidents with cars over the last few decades.
There are a lot of theories. Some people think that it has a lot to do with the increasing American consciousness toward both health and conservation. Essentially, more people are walking wherever they can to reduce their waistlines and their carbon footprints. Unfortunately, most modern cities were built with cars in mind — not walkers.
Others think that distracted walking has a lot to do with the problem. People are clued into their cellphones while they walk, listening to music or playing Pokemon Go. They’re not paying attention to traffic. Smartphone use has skyrocketed in the last few years — surging 236 percent in just six years.
Still others think that drugs and alcohol are a huge contributing factor. Some even blame the legalization of marijuana in a lot of states for the rise in pedestrian-involved accidents. There may even be something to the idea. States that legalized marijuana use during the 2012-2016 period saw a jump in pedestrian deaths while states that hadn’t decriminalized the drug didn’t.
Whatever the cause — or causes — 2017 will go down as the second year in a row to have an all-time high of pedestrian deaths over the last quarter century. The government estimates that around 6,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents with cars. That means that 16 percent of all auto accident fatalities are now actually pedestrians. The report issued by the government doesn’t address how many pedestrians were merely injured, but it’s a safe bet that the figure was a lot larger.
Anyone who is injured in a car accident — regardless of whether they were a pedestrian or not — should consider seeking legal advice before they agree to any insurance settlement. The damage a human body can suffer when it goes up against all that plastic and steel can be immense — and leave a victim struggling for years to come.
Source: GHSA, “No National Progress in Reducing Pedestrian Fatalities,” March 28, 2018