U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Reach 40-Year High, According to New Report

May 28, 2022

U.S. Pedestrian Deaths Reach 40-Year High, According to New Report

A recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) showed an increase in pedestrian accidents in 2021, signaling the highest its ever been in 40 years. According to the report, pedestrian deaths increased by a record 11.5% percent. 

What’s Causing the Increase? 

The study shows that certain reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving are among the leading causes of fatal pedestrian accidents across the country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these reckless acts gave rise to the increased number of motor vehicle fatalities the country experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many drivers took advantage of the clear roads. 

Unfortunately, pedestrians aren’t protected against these reckless behaviors and are at a higher risk of serious injury and death compared to motorists. In fact, the risk of serious injury increases every 5 miles per hour the vehicle is traveling. Pam Schadel Fisher, the GHSA’s senior director of engagement said, “We have an epidemic of people dying when they are walking, and we have drivers that are killing people that shouldn’t be killed.”

Other Startling Statistics Released by the Study

The study also found that pedestrian accidents occurred more at night, accounting for 76% of total pedestrian fatalities in 2020. These numbers increased from 3,030 in 2010 to 4,981 in 2020. While pedestrian accidents still occurred during the day, the numbers didn’t see much change over the past decade. 

However, one key point that was highlighted by the study is the fact that more pedestrians were killed in areas that did not have a sidewalk. 

What Needs to be Done

Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, has called for a “safe system” approach, which involves the construction of safer roads, improved emergency response, and better education/enforcement to combat these types of accidents.  However, according to Ms. Fischer, she believes that taking a similar approach to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (which has decreased the number of alcohol-related deaths throughout the country) will help curb the increasing number of pedestrian accidents across the U.S. 

The tactics listed in Buttigieg’s “safe system” approach have worked in Australia and Europe, which both experienced a downturn in traffic deaths during the pandemic. Per Ms. Fischer, people in the U.S. need a wake-up call: “If ever there is a wake-up call in this country, this should be it. We have to call each other out and hold ourselves accountable, too.”

Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Pedestrian Accident Case In Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of pedestrian accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.