Pedestrian Deaths On The Rise By Isaac A. Mcbeth, Esq.
A recent article by the Washington Post found that pedestrian deaths have reached the highest level in 28 years. Specifically, nearly 6000 pedestrians were killed in 2016, representing a 46% increase from the number of fatalities documented just seven years earlier in 2009.
The finding came from a “Status Report” issued May 8 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Interestingly, when I first heard of the study results, I assumed the primary culprit was distracted drivers and/or distracted pedestrians (i.e., cellphone use). However, the Status Report concluded that the common denominator for the majority of the accidents was actually road conditions. Namely, the fatal accidents involving pedestrians often occurred at evening along roads intended to funnel urban or suburban traffic to highways. Such roads are often characterized by a lack of crosswalks or poorly designed crosswalks, which entice pedestrians to traverse multiple lanes on roads with fast-moving traffic.
The Status Report supports the conclusion that the accidents are multi-factorial and demonstrate a need for changes to vehicle design (i.e., better headlights), road design (i.e., better lighting and crosswalks), and enforcement of posted speed limits. This means that future pedestrian accidents could very well trigger multiple aspects of legal liability, to include product liability on the part of manufacturers, and municipal liability on the part of local governments who design roads and/or law enforcement who police them. These are areas of practice we have significant experience in and are well-equipped to handle.
If you or someone you know has been injured or a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact us. We will do everything possible to protect an injured party’s legal rights.