Since 2009, when pedestrian fatality numbers were at all-time lows, there has been a significant jump in the number of people dying while walking. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently studied the reason for this increase in accident fatalities and the changing patterns involving these deaths.
Since 2009, the number of pedestrian fatalities has jumped by a staggering 46%. Not only have accidents become much more frequent, but they have also actually become even deadlier, and are now much more likely to result in fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, many of these fatalities now occur in urban or suburban areas. They’re also much more likely to occur on intersections or arterial roads. Fatalities are also now much more likely to occur in the dark.
In 2016, according to data, there were a total of 5,987 pedestrian accident fatalities across the country. These fatalities comprised an approximate 13% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities across the country. It also marked one of the highest tolls on record at least since 1990. Since 1975, there has been a significant decline of 20% in the number of pedestrians killed every year, but the 2016 toll came as a shock to Indianapolis accident lawyers.
In order to understand how these fatalities can be prevented, it’s important to understand where and how these pedestrian accidents now occur. Researchers found that accidents now are much more likely to involve sports utility vehicles and other powerful vehicles. Accidents involving larger cars naturally tend to result in more severe injuries and fatalities, and this was reflected in the insurance Institute for Highway Safety data which found that fatalities per 100 accident involvement jumped by 29% from 2010.
These fatalities also increased by 454% in urban areas, and 67% in arterial areas. They also increased by 56% in the dark. Fatalities involving SUVs increased by 81%, accounting for a higher increase than any other type of vehicle.
Based on this data, the researchers believe that road design has played a huge role in the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities. For instance, arterial roads typically do not have safe crossing areas for pedestrians, and this might have played a role in the number of pedestrian fatalities that are now occurring on arterial roads. Lowering speed limits can also help reduce the number of accident fatalities because accidents involving speeding cars result in greater severity of injuries and an increased risk of fatality. An increase in the number of fatalities involving nighttime accidents also points to the need for enhancing vehicle design and improving street lighting.
The Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have been injured as a result of pedestrian accidents in the Indianapolis region and across Indiana.