A preliminary analysis of traffic accident data indicates that 6,950 pedestrians in Alabama and around the country were killed in 2019 after being struck by motor vehicles. If that estimate from the Governors Highway Safety Administration proves to be correct, it would mean that pedestrian fatalities in the United States have risen by an alarming 60% since 2009. All other traffic deaths rose by just 2% during the same period of time. The 2019 pedestrian death toll is also the highest since 1988 and represents a 5% increase over the 2018 figures.
The roads are becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians
The GHSA figures suggest that making journeys on foot is particularly hazardous in California, Florida, Arizona, Georgia and Texas. These states are home to about a third of the country’s population, but they account for almost half of its pedestrian deaths. After adjusting the figures for population density, Florida, Hawaii and New Mexico emerged as the most dangerous states for pedestrians. Vermont, Idaho and Wisconsin had the fewest pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people.
Large SUVs and pickup trucks are adding to the problem
The GHSA believes that full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs are making the roads more dangerous for pedestrians. Less than half of the new vehicle registrations issued in 2009 were for light trucks. That figure has since climbed to 69%. This is a concern because pedestrians struck by large SUVs or pickup trucks are about twice as likely to be killed as pedestrians struck by smaller vehicles. Sophisticated autonomous and semiautonomous safety systems have prevented many accidents and saved countless lives in recent years, but they cannot be relied upon to protect pedestrians according to the GHSA.
Pursuing compensation following a pedestrian accident
Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles are often left catastrophically injured and unable to work and earn a paycheck for months. If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury attorney with experience in this area could pursue a lawsuit on your behalf to compensate you for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income and property damage. Before initiating litigation, an attorney may consult with doctors and trauma specialists to ensure that the damages they seek are sufficient to cover your long-term health care costs.