In Connecticut, and around the country, pedestrian death rates are rising. A study from the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that, in 2019, there were 6590 pedestrian fatalities in the United States, a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% increase from 2009.
Reasons why the number of pedestrian deaths are increasing
The study cites a number of reasons why death rates may be rising. Some of these include the fact that light trucks and SUVs are growing in popularity, climate change is causing warmer weather and cellphone usage while driving is becoming more prevalent. Larger vehicles may make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians. In addition, a larger-sized vehicle may cause more injury to the pedestrian. According to the study, in 2009, 48% of new vehicle sales were light trucks and, in 2018, that number had gone up to 69%. Pedestrians who are struck by a large vehicle are twice as likely to die as those struck by a regular-sized vehicle.
How to stay safe as a pedestrian
In order to protect yourself while walking, stay on sidewalks whenever possible. Avoid using your cellphone while walking so that you are more alert and able to respond if a car comes near you. If no sidewalk is available, remember to walk facing traffic. Scan your surroundings while you are walking outdoors in case a vehicle does not see you. Do not wear dark clothing, particularly at night. Increase your visibility to motorists by wearing bright and reflective clothing and gear.
What should you do if you or a loved one is struck as a pedestrian?
If you or a loved one has been been struck by a vehicle, you may want to contact an attorney to help you pursue damages for medical bills, lost wages and emotional trauma. A legal professional may assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve to ensure the driver is held accountable. An attorney may also work directly with the driver’s insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.