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Deadly pedestrian accidents are on the rise

Whether for health, financial or environmental reasons, walking is likely one of your most frequent activities. Unfortunately, depending on when and where you are walking, you could be faced with many potential dangers from negligent and distracted drivers. Accidents involving pedestrians are occurring more frequently and are deadlier than in recent decades.

It is hard to deny the devastating implications of these accidents. If a car struck you or a family member, you already understand how time- and resource-intensive the recovery is for those who survive. For those who do not, the emotional and financial effects can be especially difficult for loved ones to bear.

Startling statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was not always so dangerous for pedestrians. For decades, accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles declined, as did the number of individuals injured or killed. Now, these types of collisions are occurring more frequently and are resulting in a higher number of fatalities.

Although deaths from pedestrian accidents are 20 percent lower than they were in 1975, current fatality rates have shot up 46 percent since 2009 when they reached an all-time low. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians died in 2016, and these deaths account for 16 percent of all crash-related fatalities

Am I at risk?

Researchers determined a number of contributing factors to the sharp uptick in crashes. Location is one such factor, with the following areas cited as experiencing an increase in accidents:

  • Cities and suburbs
  • Arterials
  • Non-intersections

Vehicle types also influence the frequency of pedestrian accidents. Cars are involved in more of these collisions than other types of vehicles, while SUVs tend to cause more fatal outcomes. Pedestrians between the ages of 20 and 69 saw the largest percentage increase for fatalities.

Bad designs lead to bad outcomes

Experts believe that poorly designed roads, cities and arterials may all influence the likelihood of pedestrian accidents. Many communities in South Carolina lack the proper safety measures for pedestrians. Cities can protect their pedestrians through simply measures, such as adding or extending sidewalks or creating additional pedestrian crossing paths, but many overlook these vital approaches.

Pedestrians have little to no protection when facing off against a large motor vehicle, and most victims suffer severe, traumatic injuries. If you or a loved one was involved in such an unfortunate incident, there are resources available to you during this trying time. Whether through a personal injury or wrongful death suit, a successfully litigated claim can help ensure that you receive the just compensation you deserve.

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