A recent report indicates that U.S. pedestrian deaths reached nearly 6,000 in 2017 for the second straight year. This is an alarming number that highlights how dangerous distractions have become – for drivers and walkers alike. While they are still researching the top causes of pedestrian deaths, experts point to smartphones and other distractions as key factors in the unfortunately deadly trend. Not only is texting while driving extremely dangerous, but texting while walking, too. Countless pedestrian deaths can be attributed to walkers not paying attention to their surroundings, focused on their cell phone, instead.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths have reached a 25-year high. While the rise appears to be “tapering off”, there are continued concerns about the rate of the nation’s pedestrian deaths. Just as deaths from other common types of traffic fatalities are declining thanks to improvements in vehicle manufacturing and safety, pedestrians continue to be at risk. From 2007 to 2016, pedestrian deaths rose by a shocking 27 percent. Today, pedestrian deaths account for a growing majority of all motor vehicle-related fatalities.
Distractions Lead to Pedestrian Deaths
The GHSA points to smartphone use as well as alcohol and marijuana as the top contributing factors to the increase in pedestrian deaths in the U.S. Approximately 75 percent of all fatalities occurred at night, highlighting the importance for road illumination. During the first half of 2017, California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona accounted for nearly half of all pedestrian deaths. Highways in and around Dallas, such as I-35, are notoriously dangerous, so this should come as no surprise.
Furthermore, smartphone usage rose 236 percent from 2010 to 2016. This is perhaps the number one factor in both pedestrian and motor vehicle-related fatalities. With both drivers and pedestrians distracted by smartphones, the results are deadly. Alcohol use is also up and is a contributing factor to the rising pedestrian death toll. In 2016, nearly one-third of pedestrians killed were legally drunk at the time. Even though anti-drunk driving campaigns are strong and aim to reduce the number of impaired drivers, intoxicated pedestrians are a growing problem. People who are too drunk to drive often choose to walk, but this can sometimes be a fatal mistake. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are everywhere and should be used in order to avoid being involved in a costly accident, whether on foot or behind the wheel.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, please contact Rad Law Firm. Our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys have seen firsthand how devastating these types of accidents can be. We have helped countless individuals obtain fair and just compensation following a pedestrian accident. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the injuries are often severe and require months – if not years – of rehabilitation. Let us help you fight for your rights and recover any damages you are owed. Unfortunately, children and the elderly are especially susceptible to these types of accidents, resulting in heartbreaking deaths that could have been avoided. To learn more about pedestrian deaths in Texas, please contact Rad Law Firm today.