Connecticut residents should know that pedestrians are dying on the roads at an alarming rate. The Governors Highway Safety Association made a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in 2019 and estimated that 6,590 pedestrians died nationwide that year. If the estimate is accurate, that means that pedestrian fatalities rose 5% from 2018 and 60% from 2009.
This is despite the fact that all other traffic deaths saw a 2% increase between 2009 and 2018. Forty-seven percent of the pedestrian fatalities in 2019 were reported across five states: California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. These five states together contain roughly a third of the U.S. population.
As for what states had the highest rate, not number, of pedestrian fatalities, they were New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida. Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont saw the lowest rate per 100,000 people.
The GHSA gives several important reasons why pedestrian deaths are rising, including warmer weather and the growing number of drivers who unwisely use their phones behind the wheel. There’s also the fact that more and more SUVs and light trucks on the road. Pedestrians are twice as likely to die when hit by a heavy SUV than when hit by a car because the former causes more head and neck injuries.
When distracted, drowsy, drunk or otherwise negligent drivers are to blame for pedestrian collisions, pedestrians may be able to file a claim and be compensated for their injuries. In this state, plaintiffs can be eligible for damages if they are deemed 50% or less at fault, though a degree of contributory negligence will proportionally lower the amount they recover. Before filing their claim, victims may want to consult with a lawyer. The lawyer may speak on their behalf at the negotiation table or, as a last resort, in the courtroom.