Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2018. This was an alarming 50 percent more than were killed in 2009. A highway accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ can advise a pedestrian victim or his or her family members.
Experts have pointed to four probable causes of the increase in fatalities:
- More cars are back on the road, there was a big drop in vehicle miles during the recession, but that figure has rebounded.
- More people are texting while driving and walking. The iPhone was introduced in 2007, and rates of phone usage have sharply increased since that time.
- SUVs have become more popular with the long period of low gas prices. These large vehicles are harder to stop and are two to three times more likely to kill someone if they hit a pedestrian.
- In half the fatal crashes, either the driver or pedestrian was impaired by alcohol, with a blood alcohol level of .08 grams per deciliter.
In the face of these trends, New York City has managed to reduce its pedestrian fatalities since 2009, it began a Vision Zero program to reduce traffic fatalities in 2014. In 2017, the cities with the most pedestrians getting killed were Phoenix, Jacksonville, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Charlotte, Indianapolis, with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. A highway accident Phoenix, AZ can investigate fault, hire necessary experts and determine applicable insurance coverage and policies.
In 2018 Phoenix approved a 2.8 million dollar settlement for a teenage boy who exited a city bus, mid-block on Baseline, when he was hit by a vehicle. The boy suffered brain and permanent physical injuries. In a lawsuit, it was claimed that Phoenix failed to follow its own Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies. It was alleged that Phoenix should have provided a marked crosswalk or crossing island to ensure that pedestrians could safely cross Baseline Road at the crash location, or that Phoenix should have placed the bus stop near an existing crossing area.
Most of the fatal accidents do not occur in downtowns or residential neighborhoods, they are happening on arterial roads. Arterial roads are roads with at least four lanes and higher speed limits designed to move large numbers of vehicles quickly, they are often lined with strip malls, fast food restaurants, and motels. The deadly crashes are generally not at an intersection. There has been a 64% rise in pedestrian fatalities on arterial roads since 2009.
Local authorities have often reacted to these tragedies by blaming the pedestrians for walking where they shouldn’t. Pedestrian advocates believe that a constructive response would be to offer safer places for pedestrians to cross, especially near transit spots.
Recent data indicates that a pedestrian is killed every 1.5 hours in the United States. Fewer pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections than at non-intersections, about 10% of pedestrian deaths occur at other locations such as roadside/shoulders, parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks. Most collisions occur in the dark than at daylight.
More than two-thirds of the pedestrians killed were male, the highest overall pedestrian fatality rates by age group were the 50-54 and 75-79 age groups.
A highway accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ should provide a free consultation to a crash victim, or his or her family members. Contact the office of Paul Englander, PLC today!