Pedestrian-auto accident numbers maintain high levels

Any auto accident in Baton Rouge, throughout Louisiana and across the nation can be dangerous, but some of the worst kinds of crashes involve a pedestrian. Because pedestrians are totally vulnerable and do not have the protection accorded by being in a vehicle of their own, they can suffer from catastrophic injuries and be killed. The number of pedestrian accidents is recorded by researchers and government agencies to see if there are issues they should be concerned about.

One recently released study from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that there were close to 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017. This is essentially the same number that were killed in 2016. These are numbers that have not been this high in 25 years. The executive director of GHSA's statements indicate that this is a red flag that should be considered more than an anomaly. The report that GSHA released is not based on the full statistics as all it had available were the numbers for the first six months of 2017. However, it projects the total for the year to be around 5,984 fatalities from pedestrian accidents.

Of all motor vehicle fatalities, pedestrian incidents account for 16 percent of them. This is a 5 percent increase from where it was several years ago. There are many different reasons why researchers believe there has been this increase. Growing use of smartphones has resulted in drivers being distracted behind the wheel. From 2010 to 2016, the number of smartphones being used grew by 236 percent. Another factor is the increasing legality of marijuana in numerous states. People are using the substance and then driving. The seven states that have legalized marijuana along with Washington D.C. account for a 16.4 percent rise in pedestrian fatalities from 2012 to 2016. Other states were slightly less than 6 percent.

No matter the cause, Louisianans should be concerned about the prevalence of pedestrians being injured and killed in a car crash. Whether it was due to driving under the influence, texting and driving, speeding, recklessness or any other reason, the aftermath is generally universal. People are severely hurt, accrue vast medical costs, lose time at work and have extended problems. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will be confronted with a litany of other challenges to deal with. An attorney can assist with the investigation, gathering evidence and moving forward with a lawsuit. Having help from an attorney experienced in car accidents is the first step toward filing a case.

Source: forbes.com, "High Pedestrian Deaths In 2017 Risk Becoming 'New Normal,' Report Finds," Tanya Mohn, Feb. 28, 2018

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