Back in 2009, the nation recorded a 30-year low in fatal pedestrian accidents. Since then, however, the deadly crashes have been on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the toll reached 6,283 in 2018. Though the agency hasn’t yet released statistics for last year, the projected figure is even higher than 2018’s grim total.
According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the trend here in Connecticut is not promising either: in the first half of 2018, there were 23 pedestrian fatalities. In the first half of last year, that total jumped to 27.
A AAA spokesperson said, “pedestrian fatalities are cause for everyone’s concern — both drivers and pedestrians — because the goal is not blame, it’s prevention.”
Why are pedestrian accidents on the rise? Experts point to two factors: increases in distracted driving and in the weights of vehicles (larger, heavier vehicles cause more damage in collisions).
The GHSA points out the wide disparity in state pedestrian fatality totals for the first half of last year range from California’s high of 519 deaths to Vermont’s low of 1. Five states (California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Arizona) account for 47 percent of the national total, while New Mexico had the worst pedestrian fatality rate per resident population.
The greatest increase in fatal pedestrian crashes (when comparing the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019) was in:
- New Hampshire (which went from 1 to 4 for an increase of 300 percent)
- Wyoming (144 percent increase)
- Maine (up 133 percent)
- West Virginia (up 95 percent)
- North Dakota (up 67 percent).
Connecticut’s increase was 14th highest in the nation at 19 percent.
Vermont, Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin led the 20 states that had decreases in pedestrian fatality rates for the first half of 2018 compared to the first six months of last year.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a New London-area pedestrian accident, contact an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Call the Reardon Law Firm for more information or to schedule a consultation about litigation that can result in compensation for doctor bills, hospital costs, loss of income (past and future), pain, suffering and more.