Most drivers know that they’re always required to exercise care to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Even if the pedestrian violates the law, it’s still the driver’s responsibility to do what they can to avoid an accident.
But knowing the law and following it are two different things. Fatalities among pedestrians are at their highest point in years. This continues a trend going back to 2010.
A Study of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
According to a study from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents exceeded 7,500 last year. That’s the largest total recorded since 1981. An official at the GHSA listed a number of causes for the steady increase in these accidents, including:
- Lack of infrastructure
- The rise in popularity of SUVs
- More distracted drivers
- Post-pandemic rise in speeding and other forms of reckless driving
Distraction is a problem that goes both ways. Pedestrians and motorists both need to be aware of their surroundings. Paying attention might not eliminate all pedestrian accidents, but it would reduce them significantly.
The GHSA guidance on how to reduce or eliminate pedestrian accidents includes things that require time and investment, as well as simple fixes.
- Some, like reduced speed limits, would be easy to implement but are highly unpopular and difficult to enforce.
- Some solutions involve a change in road construction.
- The use of sharp, rather than round, curves can reduce speeding.
- Pedestrian islands and changes in sidewalk shape can also help motorists spot pedestrians or give pedestrians more areas to stand safely.
Not Built for Walking
It doesn’t take a city planning expert to realize that most cities and towns in Texas, and throughout the country, are built for people in cars, not on foot. That reality makes pedestrian safety a secondary concern for many. If more people are choosing to walk or ride bikes to get around, changes will have to be made to accommodate that preference.
Motorists don’t want to hit pedestrians and pedestrians don’t want to get hit. The two groups are (or should be) on the same side. What matters is that we do what we can to prevent tragic, and preventable, accidents.
Talk to an Experienced Attorney Today About Your Accident
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you need legal help right away. At The Fell Law Firm in Dallas, our personal injury lawyers know how to maximize compensation after an accident. Call us at 972-450-1418 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.