According to a recent report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities from auto accidents increased the most in at least four decades last year and now make up about 15 percent of ALL vehicle-related fatalities. From 2014 to 2015, the number of pedestrians killed in auto accidents in the U.S. rose 10 percent.
“We are projecting the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian fatalities since national records have been kept, and therefore we are quite alarmed,” said study co-author Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting.
The report suggests that influencing factors include cheaper gas, population growth, and a rebounding economy. With more spending money, Americans are driving more now than ever. Last year, total vehicle miles driven in the U.S. surged to 3.148 trillion, a significant increase from the previous year.
Not only are more people driving, but they’re driving more dangerously. Thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices, fewer drivers are keeping their eyes on the road.
Alcohol is another big contributing factor, and it’s not just drunk drivers who are causing havoc; while drunk drivers accounted for 15 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents last year, drunk pedestrians accounted for more than twice as many of these deaths.
Pedestrian safety is dependent upon location as it is upon people’s behavior. While some states reported little to no pedestrian deaths last year, other states, including California, accounted for hundreds. Demographic factors, such as population density, as well as environmental factors, such as road and walkway design, affected the rate of increase for pedestrian deaths.
This information has been brought to you by the knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. If you have an injury claim, call us at (800) 522-7274 for a FREE consultation.