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Report finds pedestrian fatalities rising

According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, 6590 pedestrians died on roadways in Connecticut and around the country. While this number reflects a five percent increase since 2018, it also is the biggest jump in three decades. These estimates could mean that since 2009, when pedestrian deaths totaled 4,109, the death rate jumped 60 percent.

There are several factors leading to this large increase. One is because of the increase of larger vehicles on the roads, which means pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed as those hit by an average-size vehicle. In fact, according to the study, nearly half of all new vehicle sales in 2009 were sport-utility vehicles and light trucks, and by 2018, this amount increased to nearly 70 percent.

Another reason for the uptick in pedestrian deaths is that more and more people are using their cell phones while driving, which causes distractions. Additionally, warmer temperatures mean more drivers are on the roadways, increasing the chances for pedestrian fatalities.

While the report did not reflect the data according to each state, it did show that nearly half of the pedestrian deaths occurred in five largely populated states: Texas, Arizona, California, Florida and Georgia. More than 30 percent of the country’s population lives in these states. The largest amount of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people occurred in Florida, Hawaii and New Mexico for the first part of 2019, while Idaho, Vermont and Wisconsin had the lowest death rates.

Family members who have lost a loved one because of the actions of a negligent driver might wonder what rights they have. Besides the grief they are suffering, they may also be suffering financially because of funeral expenses and hospital care costs. With the help of an attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents, a claim for wrongful death could lead to an award of compensation to help them with their losses.

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