October is National Pedestrian Safety month, and we know that pedestrians involved in motor vehicle accidents can not only suffer serious injuries but also incur significant medical expenses and lost wages resulting from those injuries.
Recently, pedestrian death rates are the highest they have been in 40 years. In 2021, pedestrian death rates increased from previous years, but this year they continued to increase another 13 percent, for a total of 7,485 pedestrian deaths for the year.
The rise in pedestrian deaths may be due to an increase in overall motor vehicle accidents. In 2021, overall traffic fatalities hit a 16-year high with a total of almost 43,000 people killed in traffic crashes, which is 10.5% higher than the year previous.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says the increase in motor vehicle fatalities comes from poor and dangerous driving habits, that started during Covid when there were less people on the road. The Administration found behavioral factors such as driving without a seatbelt, drunk driving and speeding led to more of these fatal crashes.
According to CDC, some of the top causes of pedestrian accidents specifically, are driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. This information is consistent with the top factors that led to an increase in motor vehicle accidents these past two years. When motor vehicle operators drive drunk, the consequences are predictably catastrophic.
In attempts to lower pedestrian-related accidents, the CDC offers safety tips for pedestrians to keep themselves safe. These safety tips include:
- Increase your visibility when walking at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing, such as reflective vests.
- Cross streets at a designated crosswalk or intersection whenever possible.
- Walk on a sidewalk or path instead of the road. Walk on the shoulder and facing traffic if a sidewalk or path is not available.
- Avoid using electronic devices like earbuds, which can cause distractions when you are walking.
- Avoid walking if you have been using alcohol or drugs, which can impair judgement and coordination.
Although pedestrians do have a responsibility to look out for their own safety, drivers are responsible for being fully alert while driving so they are able to see what’s there to be seen.
With that being said, the NHTSA has shared safety tips for drivers to ensure they operate safer and stay aware of the pedestrians that may be around them. Their safety tip questions they recommend drivers think about are:
Are you alert and focused?
Are you looking out for people walking?
Are you obeying all posted signs and speed limits?
Pedestrian Safety Month is focused on educating both pedestrians and motorists about rules and tips for being aware and staying safe on the roads. At Diller Law, we share tips to help better keep our community safe, but we also understand that accidents on the road do occur and suffering those injuries and the bills that accompany them can be very hard. If you are ever injured, we are here to help you to heal, take care of those bills and receive the compensation and justice that you deserve.
For a free legal consultation call us now at (617) 523-7771.