Alarming Report Reveals Pedestrian Deaths Climb to New Four Decade High
Alarming data shows that U.S. pedestrians are dying at a rate that has not been exceededin over four decades. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), fatalities of U.S. pedestrians jumped from 6,300 in 2019 to approximately 7,508 deaths in 2022.These numbers are likely deflated as Oklahoma has been excluded from the study due to the state having incomplete data. To give some perspective of how much this figure would increase, Oklahoma experienced an average of ninety-two (92) fatalities annually from 2018-2021.Additionally, Pedestrian deaths increased at a rate three times greater than all other traffic deaths from the years 2010 through 2021. Maryland is one of the twenty-two states across the country that saw an increase in fatalities from 2021 to 2022.
Factors Resulting in the Increase of Fatalities
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report analyzes several factors that are involved in this fatality increase. Speeding, Alcohol impairment, and lighting conditions are several of the notable variables in the analysis. Speeding increases the risk of killing an individual that is struck by a vehicle tremendously. According to the GHSA study the risk of striking a pedestrian resulting in death is ten percent (10%) when traveling at a speed of twenty-three miles per hour (23 mph); however, this risk increases to ninety percent (90%) when traveling at a speed of fifty-eight miles per hour (58mph). Alcohol impairment is prevalent amongst drivers AND pedestrians that are killed in motor vehicle collisions. The GHSA study indicates that alcohol consumption by pedestrians, not solely drivers, is prevalent amongst those killed in crashes. Alcohol consumption not only impairs motor skills, but also leads to poor judgment. The GHSA found that in 2021, 30.5% of pedestrians that were sixteen years of age or older that were killed in motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, which is the legal limit, or higher. The light conditions and time of day play a major role in fatal crashes as well. In 2021, just over seventy-seven percent (77%) of crashes with pedestrian fatalities with known light conditions transpired in the dark, whereas nineteen and a half percent (19.5%)occurred during the daylight and just over three percent (3.3%) during dawn or dusk. As a pedestrian make sure to practice safe traveling by paying attention to your surroundings, limiting alcohol consumption, and walking in areas with abundant lighting when possible. Even if you take all precautions necessary, unfortunately, these fatal collisions are still occurring at an unprecedented rate.
What to do if struck?
If you were a pedestrian that was injured due to the negligence or reckless driving of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. To learn more about potential compensation and how our team at Furman | Honick Law seeks justice for our clients in these situations, please contact our Baltimore Pedestrian Accident Lawyers to set up a no-cost case evaluation. You can reach our office in Owings Mills, Maryland by calling 410-844-6000 and speak directly with one of our partners.