Pedestrian deaths spike with an increase in SUVs on the road

W. Bradley Parker
Protecting the rights of Bedford, Texas area personal injury victims since 1985.

Pedestrian deaths hit a nearly 30-year high last year in part due to the increase in SUVs on the road, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Pedestrian deaths in the country rose 4 percent to 6,227 last year, the association reports. 

The GHSA reported that the number of pedestrian deaths involving SUVs increased by 50 percent from 2013 through 2017, while the number of pedestrian deaths caused by passenger cars increased by 30 percent over that same period. That reflects booming sales of SUVs and the fact that pedestrians are much less likely to survive the impact of an SUV, according to a USA Today article.

It's "clearly a factor," GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins said in an interview with USA Today. "We're going in the wrong direction."

Highest Number of Pedestrian Fatalities Since 1990

The GHSA reported that the number of pedestrian deaths involving SUVs increased by 50 percent from 2013 through 2017, while the number of pedestrian deaths caused by passenger cars increased by 30 percent over that same period. That reflects booming sales of SUVs and the fact that pedestrians are much less likely to survive the impact of an SUV.

It's "clearly a factor," GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins said in an interview. "We're going in the wrong direction."

In a special series, "Death on Foot," the USA TODAY Network and Detroit Free Press reported in June that the nation's SUV boom was likely a leading cause of the nation's pedestrian safety crisis.

Pedestrian deaths are up 51.5 percent since hitting a low of 4,109 in 2009, according to GHSA. They now make up 16 percent of all road deaths, up from 12 percent in 2009.

Other issues adding to the increase include distracted driving and distracted walkers, but the exact number of deaths caused by people looking at their phones remains difficult to pinpoint.

Where Most Pedestrian Crashes Occur

Pedestrian accidents resulting in injury or death most often occur at non-intersection crossings, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. The reports also show pedestrian accident deaths are on the rise.

Seventy-three percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban settings, and 79 percent occurred in non-intersection crossings, and it’s no surprise that most pedestrian accident fatalities occurred at night.

Senior citizens are more often the victim of a pedestrian traffic fatality than any other age group.

Motorists need to be on the lookout for pedestrians not just at intersections, but also non-intersection crossings.

Key Settlement Factors

When a crash involves someone walking and someone driving, the person on foot most often doesn’t walk away uninjured. The settlement in these cases range widely depending on the injuries and whether the pedestrian bears any of the fault.

Some of the key factors that influence the amount of a settlement include:

  • The injuries – How severe are they? A few bruises or life-threatening?
  • How the injuries impact your ability to go about your daily routine – This will include your pain and suffering.
  • How extensive was your medical treatment?
  • Will the injuries last a lifetime, or will you heal?
  • How much work did you miss?
  • Is the driver clearly at fault?

Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.

At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.

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