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Why Are Pedestrian Deaths at A 30-Year High?

pedestrian accident 1

Last year, 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the U.S. – the highest number in nearly three decades, according to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

The figure represents a 4% increase over 2017, and the most annual pedestrian fatalities since 1990. Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 16% of all traffic deaths, the report said.

Researchers say two main trends have led to the increase in fatal pedestrian accidents:

  • Distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians
  • An increase in larger vehicles, such as pickup trucks and SUVs

The GHSA report points to smartphones as a potential cause of the increase in pedestrian deaths. Both drivers and pedestrians are using smartphones and at an increasing rate.

According to data collected by Cambridge Mobile Telematics from thousands of vehicle drivers using its app, smartphone distraction occurred during a staggering 52% of all trips that ended in a crash. The data also found that in nearly 25% of accidents, the driver was using a smartphone within a minute before – or at the moment – the crash occurred.

While passenger cars remain the largest category of vehicles involved in fatal pedestrian crashes, the number of pedestrian deaths involving SUVs increased at a greater rate (50%) from 2013 to 2017 in comparison to passenger cars, which grew by 30%. Larger vehicles are often heavier and taller than cars, so they can cause a more severe impact when they collide with someone on foot.

Pedestrian Death Statistics In Texas

Texas was one of five states that made up nearly half (46%) of the 6,227 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, according to the GHSA. The other states were California, Arizona, Florida, and Georgia.

These five states represent about 33% of the U.S. population, yet they comprised almost half of the country’s pedestrian fatalities.

Texas was among the 10 states with the highest population growth from 2017 to 2018. Showing a possible link between population growth and pedestrian fatalities, these 10 states had a 5% increase overall in the number of pedestrian deaths during the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the GHSA.

The rate of pedestrian fatalities in Texas was 1.04 per 100,000 people in the state for the first six months of 2018, according to the GHSA. This figure was higher than the U.S. average of 0.88.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), pedestrian fatalities in Texas totaled 614 in 2017 (the most recent data published by the agency), marking a 9.7% decrease from the previous year.

Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Driver distraction
  • Unmarked crosswalks
  • Vehicle malfunction
  • Improper lighting or dark conditions
  • Bad weather
  • Poor road conditions
  • Alcohol

How Can Tate Law Offices, P.C., Help Me?

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Texas that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. The pedestrian accident attorneys at Tate Law Offices, P.C., have a long and successful track record of representing accident victims throughout Texas.

We are ready to aggressively pursue your pedestrian accident case and work to pursue a recovery that will compensate you for the losses you’ve suffered and help get you back on your feet.

Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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