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Are Pedestrians Really Safe on the Roadways?

According to statistics released by the National Safety Council, pedestrian deaths have reached a two-decade high. Preliminary data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the first six months of 2016 and extrapolated for the remaining months shows an estimated 11 percent increase for the year. In the more than 40 years since this data was first recorded, this is the largest annual increase in pedestrian fatalities.

It is believed that the likely reasons for the increase are related to factors such as lower gas prices, more people walking for exercise, environmental factors, and more people driving due to the improved economy. Some speculate that drivers and walkers distracted by cell phones and similar devices bear some of the blame. That's because wireless device use has increased significantly while miles walked and driven have only increased a few percentage points. Alcohol is also suspected to be a contributing factor as well, with 34 percent of pedestrians and 15 percent of drivers involved in fatal car crashes having been found to be intoxicated. Still, there is no indication that a change in drinking habits would account for the increase in deaths.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating causes for the increase in pedestrian deaths and has issued suggestions to help keep your family safe while walking. Some of these include:

  • Wearing bright or reflective clothing
  • Using crosswalks and cross at intersections
  • Walking on sidewalks or paths beside the roadway
  • Walking facing the traffic

If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident, it is important to hold those responsible accountable. The assistance of a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney is essential to this undertaking. 

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