Statistics detailing how and why car accidents happen can be useful for Massachusetts residents and for people across the nation. Some of the most vulnerable people on the road are not in vehicles at all, but are functioning as pedestrians. When there is a crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian, serious injury is likely and fatality is possible. Research is constantly being conducted to try and understand the cause of these crashes and to reduce their incidence. One new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that the number of pedestrians who died in the U.S. has held steady at almost 6,000 for 2017. This is the most in 25 years.
While the GHSA states that a rise in these accidents is “tapering off,” the reality is that the number has not been reducing. These statistics for pedestrian fatalities is happening simultaneous to a reduction of other causes of fatalities on the road. In the decade from 2007 to 2016, pedestrian deaths rose by 27 percent while other reasons for road fatalities were reducing by 14 percent. In coming to its conclusions, GHSA used preliminary data accrued via highway authorities.
There are several reasons that researchers cite as to why they think there has been an increase in pedestrian deaths. There are more vehicles on the road with lower gas prices and an improved economy. However, a major issue is distractions. Texting and driving and encountering a distracted driver places everyone in jeopardy. Time-tested problems such as speeding and driving under the influence also remain concerns.
The time of day is also a factor as an estimated 75 percent of the deaths happened in the dark. The possibility that the legalization of marijuana is leading to more pedestrian accidents is also a consideration. This is relevant in Massachusetts as the state has legalized the drug and reported that in Massachusetts, along with the six other states that have legalized it, there has been an uptick of 16.4 percent in pedestrian fatalities for the first half of 2017 vs. the same time frame in 2016.
When there is a pedestrian accident, the cause is a crucial part of a legal filing to receive compensation. Pedestrians can suffer cuts, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord damage and much more. They can easily be killed when in a crash with a car. After a pedestrian-car accident, legal help is a must. Contacting an attorney for guidance in how to pursue a case is one of the most important steps to take and should be done as soon as possible.
Source: npr.org, “Pedestrian Fatalities Remain At 25-Year High For Second Year In A Row,” Camila Domonoske, Feb. 28, 2018