Pedestrian Road Fatalities Up Five Percent

As the traffic fatalities overall saw a decline, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that pedestrian deaths increased by five percent in the last decade. In 2008, 4,414 pedestrian deaths accounted for 12 percent of all auto crash fatalities. A decade later, the number rose to 6,283 pedestrians, making up 17 percent of all traffic deaths. Since 2008, overall traffic deaths have fallen by eight percent, while fatal pedestrian accidents increased by a staggering 42 percent in the last decade.

2018 Data

Compiled data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed that deaths in traffic accidents declined by 2.4 percent in 2018, the second year in a row that overall fatalities saw a decrease. Last year, 36,560 people were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. Promisingly, the NHTSA released the data collected during the first half of 2019, which indicated that the reduction in fatalities is continuing, down 3.4 percent so far this year. However, safety advocates are concerned that among total fatal crashes, those that killed pedestrians made up a bigger percentage each year. An increase in people making the ostensibly healthier choice to walk or bike to work in big cities and elsewhere may be the reason behind the increase.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Fatality Data

Nearly 20 percent of all fatal traffic accidents killed either a pedestrian or a pedalcyclists, a category that includes bicyclists, as well as other non-motorized transportation, such as tricycles and unicycles. Pedestrian fatalities in 2018 increased by 3.4 percent, accounting for 6,283 deaths. Traffic-related deaths of pedalcyclists were up 6.3 percent, totaling 857. The NHTSA and other auto safety experts aim to use the data collected to reduce fatalities among pedestrians by a thorough examination of the data and trends.

Some of the report’s findings include:

  • Pedestrian fatalities happen more often in urban areas than in any other setting.
  • Pedestrian deaths are more likely to occur at night with 76 percent occurring after dark.
  • Alcohol use by pedestrians was a factor in 38 percent of these fatalities.
  • Nearly three-quarters of traffic incidents killed pedestrians entering the street at some point other than at an intersection or crosswalk.

Plans to Act

Traffic safety experts and government officials are looking at ways to address the increased dangers to pedestrians and cyclists. Some of the possible solutions being looked at include:

  • Lowering speed limits in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic
  • Incorporating pedestrian-friendly elements into street design projects
  • Providing outreach and education on how pedestrians should approach road safety
  • Enforcement of traffic laws, especially surrounding the issue of distracted driving
  • Investment in technology solutions for new cars

Law Offices of Duane O. King are Car Accident Lawyers in DC Who Represent Pedestrians Injured by Reckless Drivers

If you were a pedestrian injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries. The Law Offices of Duane O. King are skilled car accident lawyers in DC that can help you obtain damages for your accident. Contact us online or call us at 202-331-1963 for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we provide legal services to clients throughout DC and Maryland.