Increasing pedestrian deaths and injuries are a sad trend that continued into the first half of 2022. Despite new safety initiatives and municipalities and states rethinking the design of new roadways with adjacent pedestrian activity, the Governors Highway Safety Association announced that its preliminary numbers indicate that there were 3,434 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2022, which is 168 more than the previous year and a 5% increase. Connecticut’s total for all of 2022 was 70, the highest since 1988.
Continuing a record-breaking trend
These alarming numbers are at a tragic 40-year high, continuing a trend where each new year topped the previous year’s record for the last ten years. Last year’s 5% increase was in step with other recent years:
- There was an 18% increase between 2019 and 2022.
- The growth goes from .90 deaths per 100,000 people to 1.04.
- The increase amounts to 519 additional lives lost.
Why it’s happening
It is a combination of factors:
- Reckless driving habits that emerged during the pandemic continue.
- Larger and heavier vehicles (such as SUVs, pick-up trucks) continue to increase in popularity.
- The old priority of fast-moving traffic flow over pedestrian safety remains a problem.
- Inadequate infrastructure like sidewalks, safety islands, crosswalks, and streetlights in many parts of the country.
Who is responsible?
Drivers must use the roadways responsibly and obey all posted signs. They also need to consider current road conditions while following traffic signs. It is also up to municipalities, counties, states, and federal organizations to update and adequately maintain existing roadways and build safer new ones. For example, a local city that doesn’t fix streetlights or provide crosswalks in areas with heavy traffic could also be responsible for pedestrian injuries or deaths.
Injured pedestrians or their loved ones can discuss the details of a collision with an experienced personal injury attorney.