Pedestrians Deaths At Highest Rate in Decades – What is Causing the Increase?
In 1990, 6,482 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic-related accidents. Throughout the following two decades, the rate of pedestrian fatalities fell to a low of 4,109 in 2009. However, according to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian traffic fatalities have been increasing since 2009. During the 10 years from 2008 through 2017, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents increased by 35 percent, while the number fatalities in all other motor vehicle accidents combined decreased by six percent. According to the preliminary data for last year, 2018 will be the deadliest year for pedestrians in nearly three decades.
In this article we discuss:
- Potential Factors Related to the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths
- What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
- Compensation Available for Victims and Families
Potential Factors Related to the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths
In a news release by the GHSA, it discusses some of the potential factors that could contribute to the increase in pedestrian deaths over the past decade.
- More Pedestrians Sharing the Road with Vehicles
The number of pedestrians has increased in recent years. More people are walking to work and walking for health reasons. The higher number of pedestrians sharing the road with vehicles can increase the risk of pedestrian accidents.
- Need for Improved Pedestrian Crossings
Studies show that most pedestrian fatalities occur on local roads in locations without intersections. Also, nighttime accidents accounted for roughly 90 percent of the increase in pedestrian deaths. Improvements to create safer road crossings could reduce the number of pedestrian accidents.
- Distracted Driving and Other Reckless Driving Behaviors
Distracted driving continues to be a serious problem for Americans. Thousands of people are killed or injured in distracted driving accidents each year, including pedestrians. Other reckless and negligent driving behaviors contribute to the number of pedestrian deaths each year. Other examples of driver error that can cause a pedestrian accident include speeding, impaired driving, drowsy driving, and road rage.
- Increase in Sales of SUVs and Trucks
SUVs and trucks have become more popular during the past couple of decades. Unfortunately, these vehicles typically cause more severe injuries in a pedestrian accident. The number of SUVs involved in accidents resulting in the death of a pedestrian increased by 50 percent since 2018. In comparison, non-SUV passenger cars involved in fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 30 percent during the same period. Studies and reports by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Detroit Free Press/USA Today Network highlight the danger SUVs pose to pedestrians.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
As with any motor vehicle accident, you should call 911 to request police and emergency medical services. You need to document the accident and your injuries for a personal injury claim. The best way to do this is to call the police and go to the emergency room so doctors can evaluate your injuries.
In many cases, a pedestrian is injured severely, which prevents the pedestrian from documenting the accident scene by taking pictures or videos. If possible, you can ask someone to use your cell phone to take pictures, or you may call a friend or family member to come to the accident scene. While this evidence can be helpful, it is not as important as avoiding further injury and seeking medical treatment. Our legal team conducts a thorough accident investigation on your behalf to gather evidence.
If you did not go to the emergency room after the accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the injury. Insurance companies use a delay in treatment to argue that you were not injured in the crash. Carefully document your expenses and losses as you seek treatment and recover from your injuries. Taking pictures of your injuries throughout your recovery can be very helpful for proving pain and suffering damages. You need to keep copies of all receipts, invoices, and other proof of expenses.
As soon as possible, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys. An insurance adjuster may tell you that you do not need an attorney. Do not fall for this tactic. You have the right to seek legal counsel before you provide statements, sign medical releases, or discuss your claim with anyone representing the driver or the driver’s insurance provider. The claims adjuster is protecting the insurance company’s best interest. Let our legal team protect your best interest.
Compensation Available for Victims and Families
Illinois law protects pedestrians from reckless and negligent drivers. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Examples of compensable damages available for pedestrians who are injured in a traffic accident include:
- Cost of medical care, including the cost of future or ongoing medical treatments and personal care if you sustain a permanent impairment
- Loss of income, including diminished earning capacity and future loss of income
- Physical suffering and pain
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional and mental distress and anguish
- Disabilities and impairments
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and losses
Families who lose a loved one because of a pedestrian accident may be entitled to compensation for damages under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (IWDA). Filing a wrongful death action gives families a way to hold a negligent driver responsible and liable for the loss of a family member.
Your time to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death action is limited by law. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, call now to discuss your claim and your legal options with a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney.Contact the Costa Ivone Injury Lawyers for a free consultation by calling (708) 400-0000.