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Rising pedestrian deaths could be due to SUV popularity

| May 19, 2018 | Catastrophic Injury And Wrongful Death |

Since 2009, pedestrian deaths have risen 46 percent. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these fatalities now account for 16 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities.

In 2016, which is the last year data is available for, nearly 6,000 pedestrians have been killed on or along our nation’s roadways. To put that number in perspective, that is nearly twice the number of victims who died in the 9/11 attacks

Researchers want to know why. Common reasons for this type of accident include texting while walking, distracted driving and the legalization of marijuana; however, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that pedestrian fatalities in accidents with an SUV increased by 81 percent between 2009 and 2016. SUVs are now the best-selling motor vehicles in the country.

The president of the IIHS said “SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars. We do think that the number of SUVs on the roadways now and the size of the vehicles is playing some role.”

More pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas than in rural areas, according to the NHTSA. More statistics include the fact that more pedestrians are killed at night and are more often males than females. In addition, African-Americans are killed “at a disproportionate rate compared with their population nationwide.”

Cities with the highest pedestrian death rate include Miami, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Newark and Detroit, which was at the top of the list of deadliest cities with populations over 200,000. Some cities have made promising strides to lower the number of pedestrian deaths, like New York City and Ann Arbor. In other cities, walking while texting has become against the law, such as in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Montclair, California.

While cities and researchers continue to look for ways to lower pedestrian fatalities, those who have lost a loved one due to a driver’s negligence or recklessness can seek compensation for their loss through a civil lawsuit. An experienced attorney can provide more information on how to proceed.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “Death on foot: Pedestrian fatalities skyrocket in U.S.,” Eric D. Lawrence,Chris Woodyard,Zlati Meyer and Kristi Tanner, May 08, 2018

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