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Spike in pedestrian fatalities stokes national concern

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | motor vehicle accidents

The Chicago roads are inordinately busy and this can place people in danger of being injured or losing their lives in an auto accident. Particularly at risk are pedestrians. While there is anecdotal evidence of how drivers are growing more and more reckless, the most recent statistics for pedestrian deaths are stoking worry about the situation. People need to be fully aware of this to try and stay safe.

Pedestrian deaths are the worst they have been since 1981

According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were over 7,500 pedestrians killed in auto accidents in the United States in 2022. This was a modest 1% increase from 2021. It might seem like this is an improvement from 2020 to 2021 when there was a 13% spike, but worries remain. From 2010 to 2021, the number of pedestrian deaths rose by an eye-opening 77%.

Experts who are analyzing the report say that the worsening risk to pedestrians shows a lack of progress in safety initiatives. Factors that are believed to be relevant in the increase are the consistent pedestrian safety issues like nighttime drivers sharing the road with walkers and recklessness. However, there are other concerns that have come to light in recent years.

Distraction is getting worse with drivers using their handheld devices behind the wheel for myriad reasons. Also, more people are driving larger and heavier vehicles like SUVs. Because of their size, a collision with a pedestrian tends to have worse results than there are when a smaller vehicle crashes into a pedestrian.

A separate report from StreetLight Data analyzed where speed factors in with pedestrian deaths. It found that vehicles that are moving at 30 miles per hour have double the chance of leading to a pedestrian death that those traveling at 20 mph. Chicago is one of the best cities in having roads with an average speed of less than 25 mph, but many drivers flout the law, putting people in jeopardy.

A pedestrian accident can have terrible consequences that need to be addressed

Any type of auto accident has the potential to cause problems for those who were involved and their families. Pedestrian crashes are worse because the chance of catastrophic injuries and death are so much higher due to their lack of protection.

With this research showing that the most pedestrians were killed since 1981, it is imperative that people are prepared to effectively move forward. That includes covering for medical costs, lost income and maximizing the recovery in every way.