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Pedestrian Deaths Hit 41-Year High

Pedestrian in crosswalk crossing the street.

According to a recent national study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities reached a four-decade high. The study emphasizes the urgent need for states to take immediate action to reduce the number of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents.

"Every day, 20 people go for a walk and do not return home," Jonathan Adkins, chief executive officer of the GHSA, said in a statement published by Forbes. "These are people living their daily lives – commuting to and from school and work, picking up groceries, walking the dog, getting some exercise – who died suddenly and violently,"

Understanding the trend

The recent GHSA study examined pedestrian death rates nationwide and in each state, using data from the NHTSA. In 2022, there were a staggering 7,508 pedestrian fatalities across the country, marking the highest death toll in a single year since 1981.

This alarming trend has been ongoing for decades, with pedestrian deaths increasing almost every year in the past decade. From 2010 to 2022, there was a 77 percent overall increase in pedestrian fatalities, including a 19 percent rise between 2019 and 2022, as reported by the GHSA.

Pedestrian Accidents in Connecticut

Like the rest of the country, Connecticut continues to face a significant issue with pedestrian accidents. In the past year alone, the state witnessed 62 pedestrian fatalities, marking a 10.7 percent increase compared to 2021 and the highest number of pedestrian deaths in at least a decade.

From 2012 to 2022, pedestrian fatalities in Connecticut surged by 44.1 percent overall, as revealed by NHTSA pedestrian accident data.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Several traffic safety studies have consistently identified three specific driving behaviors that are major contributors to pedestrian accidents: drinking and driving, texting while driving, and speeding.

According to a recent GHSA study, drunk driving is responsible for the highest number of pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 19 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Exceeding the speed limit is another significant factor, contributing to an estimated 8 percent of pedestrian deaths, as reported by the GHSA.

Additionally, various traffic safety studies have highlighted the role of texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving in numerous pedestrian collisions. These reckless behaviors are contributing factors in many cases and underscore the need to hold negligent drivers accountable.

How to improve pedestrian safety

The GHSA study provided several recommendations to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents:

  • Install more streetlights: Forbes reported that inadequate visibility at night contributes to pedestrians getting hit in crosswalks or while walking alongside the road. Increasing the number of streetlights can improve visibility and enhance pedestrian safety.
  • Improve road design: Planners should consider pedestrians when designing roads to ensure their safety. Incorporating features that prioritize pedestrian needs can help reduce accidents.
  • Educate drivers: Driver education courses should emphasize the importance of sharing the road with non-motorized users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Increasing driver awareness can lead to safer interactions and reduced accidents.
  • Expand sidewalks: Many pedestrian accidents occur due to the absence of sidewalks along busy roads. Additional sidewalks can offer pedestrians safer paths, separating them from vehicular traffic.
  • Lower speed limits: Speeding drivers are often responsible for pedestrian accidents. Identifying areas with a high incidence of such accidents and implementing lower speed limits can help prevent collisions and protect pedestrians.
  • Strengthen enforcement: Law enforcement should take a stricter approach towards drivers who engage in dangerous behaviors such as speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence. This increased enforcement can deter risky behaviors and promote safer road conditions for pedestrians.

Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer today

Attorney Jeremy Vishno has over 25 years of experience and is dedicated to helping individuals and families in Connecticut seek the compensation they deserve. He personally handles each case and is known for his attentive and compassionate approach.

With a track record of success in various personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents, Attorney Vishno is committed to fighting for his clients' rights. Vishno Law Firm serves clients in Fairfield County and beyond, offering free case consultations and flexible meeting options. If you were hit by a car or your loved one died in a fatal pedestrian accident, we are here to help. Contact us today.

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