The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a report indicating that pedestrian deaths in crashes involving motor vehicles and pedestrians rose a shocking 46% between 2009 and 2016. This is particularly surprising since the number of pedestrian deaths as a result of vehicle accidents was actually lower in 2016 than in 1975, by 20%.
Arterials and SUVs Responsible for Increased Deaths
The figures, derived from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System, also pinpointed where differences in pedestrian deaths above the average occurred. The biggest climb was on arterials, where 67% more pedestrians died as a result of crashes during the period. Darkness was also responsible for a large rise, 56%, and deaths in urban areas rose 54%. Pedestrian deaths at non-intersections increased 50%.
What kind of vehicle were most involved in pedestrian fatalities? The number of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) involved in pedestrian deaths was significantly higher than any other vehicle every year.
Deaths among children actually decreased during the period, but deaths rose more than 5% every year for people between the ages of 30 and 69.
The report noted that more people are walking as a mode of transportation, including work commutes. The number of Americans walking to work, for example, rose nearly 1 million in the decade between 2005 and 2015.
More Safety Measures Needed
The authors called for an increase in safety measures to combat the sharp rise in pedestrian deaths.
The fact that more fatal crashes occurred at arterials, urban areas, and nonintesections strongly indicate that safety measures should be concentrated there.
Both drivers and pedestrians should also be strongly urged to exercise safety precautions at night, including caution for drivers (vehicle headlights are a must, of course), and improved visibility for pedestrians, who should wear reflective gear and walk where there is road lighting.
Improved road lights, especially in urban arterial areas, should also be a focus of safety precautions.
Urban arterials especially could benefit from proven safety measures, including road diets (the narrowing of roads or lanes), median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and speed enforcement measures.
If You Need Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in New York or New Jersey
The startling rise in pedestrian accidents between 2009 and 2016 should remind us all to exercise safety precautions, as walkers and drivers, as citizens whose taxes pay for roads and as parents of pedestrians.
Sadly, even with improved safety measures, tragedies involving vehicles and pedestrians will still occur in New York and New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in a pedestrian and vehicle accident, please contact our law firm to discuss your case. KGG attorneys have decades of experience in pedestrian accidents.
Call us at (800) 711-5258 to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer NYC trusts to take on the deep-pocketed insurance companies and fight for maximum compensation. We have offices both in Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ. All initial consultations are complimentary.
- Hu, Wen and Jessica B Cicchino. “An examination of the increases in pedestrian motor vehicle crash fatalities during 2009–16.” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. May 2018. http://www.iihs.org/frontend/iihs/documents/masterfiledocs.ashx?id=2160.
- Jaffe, Eric. “So What Exactly Is a ‘Road Diet’?” CityLab. September 12, 2014. https://www.citylab.com/design/2014/09/so-what-exactly-is-a-road-diet/379975/