Pedestrian deaths have been going up every year since 2009, and Louisiana residents should know that 2019 was no exception. Though there is no complete data yet on traffic deaths in 2019, the Governors Highway Safety Administration published a report on trends for last year.
First, it estimated that 6,590 pedestrians died in 2019. This was a 5% increase from 2018, a 60% surge from 2009 and the most that the number has been since 1988. The fatality rate came to 2.0 deaths per 100,000 people, which was the highest since 1997. Largely as a result of safer vehicles, all other traffic deaths rose just 2% between 2009 and 2018.
California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida, which together constitute around one-third of the total U.S. population, accounted for 47% of all the pedestrian fatalities. As for the highest fatality rates, they were found in Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii. The lowest were in Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho.
The GHSA gave several explanations for this spike in fatalities. First, there are more drivers who use their phones and become distracted. Second, warmer weather brings out more drivers and pedestrians. Third, SUVs and light trucks, which often cause serious harm in pedestrian collisions, make up more of the new vehicle sales — 69% in 2019 but 48% in 2009.
Someone who has been involved in a pedestrian accident may want to take legal action. If the victim did not contribute to their own injuries, they could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Filing a claim is difficult to do alone, so the victim may wish to have legal representation. Most personal injury lawyers have a network of third parties like crash investigators and medical professionals who can help build a case up.