A driver colliding with a person walking across the street can create a tragic outcome. Since a pedestrian lacks any protection, a disabling injury or death is likely to result. Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths are not on the decline. In fact, they have recently reached a 41-year high.
A number of trends in the past couple of years have contributed to the rise of pedestrian fatalities.
The Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2021, distracted driving caused the deaths of over 3,500 people. Too many drivers still speed or otherwise do not obey the traffic rules.
Smartphones in particular are a problem, although motorists who get involved in accidents generally do not want to admit they were using their phones while driving. As a result of these dangerous driving practices, reckless drivers do not see pedestrians until it is too late to react.
The size of a vehicle can greatly contribute to pedestrian fatalities. According to NBC News, more people are eschewing new passenger cars in favor of buying SUVs and trucks. However, the taller build of an SUV and a truck has a greater probability of striking a pedestrian in the torso and causing a fatality.
Population growth in the suburbs is also a factor. Since many new residents do not have cars, they have to walk to get to different places. Unfortunately, these pedestrians often encounter busy roads without sidewalks or crosswalks. This has caused a spike in deaths on suburban arterial roads.
People in a high-risk area for pedestrian deaths should take precautions when crossing a street. Still, drivers must also do their part or they may bear responsibility for hurting or killing an innocent person.