Recent reports have indicated that motor vehicle deaths in the United States might be starting to decline. It will take some time to see if there is a trend or if this is just an aberration, but there is some reason for positivity regarding the state of motorist death rates.
When looking specifically at pedestrian deaths, however, there is a very different picture. In fact, the numbers of pedestrians killed in the United States has skyrocketed over the last decade. On average, pedestrian deaths increased by 35 percent over that 10-year period.
According to a report released by Smart Growth America, there has been a steady increase in pedestrian fatalities over that time. In 2017, we had the first year since 2009 in which fatalities dropped. Still, that was only a slight decrease and one that might not hold true to 2018, as complete information for 2018 is not yet available.
Factors leading to the increase in pedestrian deaths
What is causing this stark increase in pedestrian deaths across the country? There are several factors to consider.
First, since 2008, the number of total miles traveled by cars in the United States increased by 8.1 percent, while the number of trips via walking rose by less than 1 percent. Thus, there are now more cars out on the road per pedestrian compared to a decade ago.
There has also been an influx of people leaving rural and suburban America and coming back to urban centers, where the general population and vehicle density leads to a higher likelihood of pedestrian accidents (and other types of vehicle crashes). Total vehicle miles traveled rose by 13.1 percent in urban areas over the past decade.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak with a knowledgeable Sarasota personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.