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Why is it so dangerous to be a pedestrian these days?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2023 | Personal Injury

This country has seen an alarming increase in the number of fatal accidents involving pedestrians. Recent figures indicate that there were more pedestrians killed in 2022 than there has been in any year since 1981 – and that’s concerning. 

What’s causing the trend? There’s probably not one cause behind the problem but several.

Road designs favor drivers, not pedestrians

Gone are the days when residential and shopping areas were largely designed for walkers. Modern housing developments assume that people will drive everywhere. Wide roads with multiple lanes are all over, and crosswalks aren’t always readily available.

Drivers seem to be increasingly distracted and aggressive

It’s probably not a coincidence that pedestrian fatalities started their upward climb right around 2010 – shortly after the first smartphones came out and started to become popular. Between 2010 and 2021, pedestrian fatalities climbed 77%, and a lot of that is blamed on technological distractions.

Drivers seem to have become more aggressive, too. Some drivers seem to be all too aware that the police are having difficulty with traffic enforcement, and they’re taking the opportunity to tailgate, swerve through lanes and speed wherever they go.

SUVs are everywhere, and they hit harder

Americans love big vehicles, and SUVs are very popular. However, the odds of a pedestrian surviving a blow from a heavy SUV are much slimmer than the chances of surviving an encounter with a compact car. The force of the impact is simply harder – and the higher body size can also force a pedestrian under the vehicle when they’re hit, leading to worse injuries.

If you’ve been injured by an errant driver while walking or your loved one was killed, find out more about your legal options.