According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities rose by mmore than 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, and smartphone technology was considered the primary culprit.
Safety advocates cite mobile devices as the leading culprit for this increase. As drivers and pedestrians continue to utilize their mobile devices while traveling, the fatality rate for pedestrians continues to climb. The increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 marks the largest single-year rise in the history of the United States.
Another disturbing fact is that the overall death count of just under 6,000 is the single largest annual pedestrian fatality count in more than 20 years. Walking may no longer be the “safest” mode of transportation since, according to national statistics, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than automobile occupants to suffer fatal injuries each trip.
When Are Pedestrians Most at Risk?
Although pedestrians are at risk anytime they are out, there is a significant spike in the number of pedestrians who are killed at night. In fact, studies show that just under 75 percent of victims happened during the nighttime hours. Safety advocates say this is often due to the lack of visibility drivers have.
Although there is a great risk, there are steps that pedestrians can take to help decrease their risk of being injured or killed while they are walking? Two items that pedestrians should utilize is having a light on their back or head for drivers to see, as well as wear bright and light color clothing.
There is also another critical step pedestrians can take to keep themselves safe – put their mobile device away. Distracted walking has become a real issue, just like it has for driving.
Pedestrians should also cross only at marked intersections. More than 70 percent of pedestrian victims killed each year were not crossing at legally marked crosswalks or intersections.
Being under the influence while walking is also another factor in pedestrian accidents. Victims in just under 35 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes were legally drunk when they were killed.
The age of a person also makes them more susceptible to being injured while they are walking. According to national statistics, 20 percent of pedestrians who are killed are 65 years of age or older and another 20 percent of victims are children under the age of 15.
Contact a Va. Injury Attorney Today
If you or a family member has sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, contact a seasoned Virginia car accident attorney today. Our personal injury law firm has decades of combined legal experience and has built a solid reputation of being skilled negotiators when dealing with insurance companies. We will use all available resources to get you the financial damages you deserve for the pain and loss you have suffered.