Written by: Portrait Photo Of Chad M. Prentice Chad M. Prentice

Pedestrians have always faced risks when they go out for a walk, particularly when traveling in close proximity to motor vehicles. Whether for leisure, exercise, or to get from place to place, walking near busy roads has always been potentially hazardous. In one split second, an “encounter” with an inattentive or reckless driver can result in life-changing, if not life-ending, consequences.

Troubling trends in traffic fatalities

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed recent studies that revealed alarming statistics when it comes to pedestrian safety after previous trends saw a three-decade reduction in fatalities:

  • Pedestrian deaths increased from 4,109 to 6,283 between 2009 to 2018., a 53 percent increase
  • Pedestrians killed in traffic accidents accounted for 12 to 17 percent of all traffic fatalities during that same time
  • Adult deaths compose almost the entire increase; pedestrian deaths involving children and teenagers dropped
  • Nearly all fatal pedestrian deaths happened in urban areas and represented an uptick of more than 2,000, with two-thirds on lower capacity roads, not on freeways
  • Non-intersection collisions made up over 1,800 pedestrian fatalities, with those killed at intersections growing by 29
  • Evening hours played a role with 1,900 more deaths after dark while daylight hours came in at less than 200
  • Of the 30 countries in the Organizational for Economic Co-operation & Development, the United States accounted for the largest percentage growth, with 24 seeing fewer pedestrian deaths

By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on April 2, 2021