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2019 pedestrian deaths reached a potential 30-year high

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2020 | Pedestrian Accidents |

You were walking and not breaking any traffic laws when a driver suddenly collided with you. Pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon in Illinois and throughout the U.S., and more of them are ending in fatality.

The Governors Highway Safety Administration, using traffic death data spanning the first half of 2019, has made a preliminary analysis of the number of pedestrian fatalities that year. The numbers have been consistently going up since 2009 after seeing a two-decade-long decline, and 2019 also saw an increase.

Pedestrian deaths at their highest in 30 years

According to GHSA estimates, there were 6,590 pedestrians who died in 2019. If this number is accurate, it’s a 5% increase from 2018, a 60% jump from 2009 and the highest that it has ever reached since 1988.

A significant portion of the fatalities, 47%, were clustered in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. These five states, incidentally, compose about 33% of the U.S. population. Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The lowest rates were found in Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont.

More SUVs on the road means more fatalities

The reasons for this upward trend are many. The GHSA cites, for example, warmer weather and the increasing number of drivers who use their phones. Another factor stands out from the rest, and that’s the rising number of SUVs and light trucks on the road.

In 2009, 48% of new vehicles that were sold were light trucks, including SUVs, but in 2018, that percentage was 69%. These vehicles are designed in such a way that they are twice as likely as a car to kill a pedestrian in a crash.

The personal attention of a lawyer

Even when they don’t end in death, pedestrian collisions can leave victims with serious injuries. You’re no doubt wondering how you can move on with your life and continue supporting your family. You may find answers by consulting with an attorney. The attorney may help you file a claim against the guilty driver and seek compensation for both monetary and non-monetary losses.