Why Are Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise?

There Are Two Main Reasons Why Pedestrian Deaths Are on the RiseAccording to NBC News, in 2022, the United States experienced its highest number of pedestrian deaths in 30 years. In fact, there were over 7,500 pedestrians struck and killed by vehicle drivers, which is a 77 percent increase since 2010. The data provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) states that there were around 20 pedestrians killed every single day on the streets in America. WPLN News also reported that 49 pedestrians were killed in Nashville in 2022, which was record-breaking for our city. This is not only alarming, but it is extremely terrifying for those in Nashville and other cities who enjoy walking.

The senior director of external engagement for the GHSA, Pam Shadel Fischer, mentioned that the data for pedestrian fatalities “has been getting worse every year.” Fischer explained that everyone has been so worried about ensuring that vehicles are safer, that they never took the time to think and consider pedestrians and what might make things safer for them.

Reckless driving and larger vehicles are killing pedestrians

During the pandemic, there was an uptick in pedestrian accidents and fatalities. The reason for this is because less people were on the roads, giving people the leeway to speed or drive more carelessly. However, now that everything has returned to normal and more traffic is on the roads and highways, there is no reduction in the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities because people are continuing to speed and drive recklessly. The GHSA report mentions that a pedestrian’s risk of being struck by a car that is traveling at 58 mph is 90 percent. Here are a few different examples of reckless driving:

Another reason given for the increase in pedestrian deaths is Americans wanting and purchasing larger vehicles. While any type of vehicle can do damage to the human body, larger vehicles weigh more and bring excessive force and impact to pedestrian accidents. The NBC report compares data from 1983 when there were only three percent of SUVs made to 2022, which shows a 57 percent increase in the number of SUVs made.

The president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety explains that “the taller profiles of SUVs and trucks means that, in a collision, pedestrians are more often hit in the torso, which increases the likelihood of death.” The GHSA report states that the number of pedestrian deaths that involved an SUV increased by 120 percent.

What is a pedestrian accident?

A pedestrian accident occurs when an individual is struck by a car, motorcycle, truck, scooter, or bicycle. The pedestrian may be walking to work, enjoying some exercise, or strolling around their community for fresh air and sunshine. Pedestrians have the right to walk on sidewalks, cross at intersections when it’s their turn, and take advantage of the great outdoors whenever they desire. However, when a negligent driver fails to check their blind spots, stops at traffic lights or signs, or is driving while under the influence, pedestrian accidents tend to happen.

Types of injuries that result from pedestrian accidents

When a pedestrian is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, they usually do not stand much of a chance of surviving or having the same quality of life that they did before after the accident. The reason for this is because the human body is not made to withstand the weight, force, or impact that a motor vehicle brings to the table. Therefore, catastrophic injuries are often the result of pedestrian accidents, such as:

If you have been struck by a bicycle, vehicle, scooter, skateboarder, or any other type of object with extreme force and weight, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention right away. Sometimes, these injuries can take hours, days, or weeks to show any symptoms. However, by the time you realize that you may have an injury or condition from your accident, it could be too late. As a result, many pedestrians either succumb to their injuries or spend the rest of their lives coping with a diminished quality of life.

Which roads and intersections in Nashville are dangerous for pedestrians?

Some of the Nashville roads and intersections where pedestrians should take extra precautions on are:

  • Dickerson Place
  • Gallatin Pike
  • Murfreesboro Pike
  • Harding Place
  • Rosa L. Parks Boulevard
  • Nolensville Pike
  • Old Hickory Boulevard
  • West Trinity Lane

If you or a loved one suffers injuries from a pedestrian accident, reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney from Rocky McElhaney Law Firm at your earliest opportunity. We have an experienced and qualified team of pedestrian accident lawyers who know how to investigate, fight for your rights, and stand up for the full compensation that you deserve. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation at one of our firm’s locations in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.