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Pedestrian deaths reach 30-year high in 2019, says GHSA report

| May 28, 2020 | Firm News

Pedestrian accidents are not uncommon in Connecticut. Perhaps you yourself were injured on a crosswalk, and you’re thinking to file a claim against the driver. Others are in a similar position, but rather than a personal injury claim, they will be filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Pedestrian fatalities saw a decline starting in 1988, but ever since 2009, their number has been steadily climbing. In its preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in 2019, the Governors Highway Safety Administration found that things only worsened that year.

Highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1988

The GHSA only had data for the first half of 2019 to work from, but it was able to estimate that 6,590 pedestrians died that year: a 5% rise from 2018 and a 60% increase from the 4,109 deaths reported in 2009. This is the highest number in over 30 years. By contrast, all other traffic deaths rose 2% between 2009 and 2018.

Forty-seven percent of the deaths were centered in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona and California: five states that compose 33% of the country’s population. The highest fatality rates were seen in Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii while the lowest were in Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho.

SUVs and drivers distracted by phones

In its report, the GHSA cites warmer weather among the possible factors for this increase in pedestrian deaths. In addition, drivers have become more liable to be distracted by their phones.

A third factor is the growing popularity of SUVs and light trucks. Whereas 48% of new vehicle sales in 2009 were light trucks, the percentage went up to 69% in 2019. Pedestrians are twice as likely to die in a crash with a large SUV than in a crash with a car.

Legal representation for an injury case

Pedestrian collisions can result in serious injuries, but you may be compensated for all economic and non-economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering if you file a successful claim. You may want a lawyer to represent you at the negotiation table, though, while you continue to recover.