The Governors Highway Safety Association says that pedestrian accident fatalities increased significantly in 2020 and the months after. Seven states, including the state of Georgia, contributed to more than 50% of those pedestrian accident deaths.
Previous data has shown that the number of motor vehicle crash–related deaths across the country overall has increased since 2020, and pedestrian accident fatalities seem to have constituted a significant percentage of the total. In 2020, according to data by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a total of 6,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the country. That was a statistically significant increase of 5% over the 6,412 pedestrians who were killed in accidents in 2019.
The pedestrian accident fatality rate in 2020 actually rose to 21% in spite of the fact that there were fewer vehicles on the road as a result of the pandemic. The fact that there were fewer vehicles on the road does not seem to have had any kind of negative impact on the number of accidents on our roads, and this is a matter of huge concern.
More disturbingly, a vast majority of these accident fatalities were concentrated in a very small percentage of states. Georgia and six other states accounted for more than half of all the pedestrian fatalities in 2020. Those are grim statistics.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, a combination of a number of poor driving patterns led to an increase in pedestrian accident fatalities in 2020. These behaviors included speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. These are driver behaviors that are significantly more likely to cause serious pedestrian accidents that end in catastrophic injuries or deaths. A motorist who is speeding is much less likely to be able to stop in time to avoid a pedestrian. Similarly, a driver who is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not likely to see a pedestrian in time to avoid hitting him. A marked increase in such destructive driving behaviors seems to be clearly linked to the uptick in deaths in pedestrian accidents.
Another factor that contributes to deadly accidents involving cars and pedestrians is the increasing trend of bigger and bigger cars, such as SUV’s on the roads. These larger vehicles coupled with negligent driving patterns can only result in a catastrophic end to a pedestrian struck by such a vehicle.
Additionally, the rates of other irresponsible driving behaviors increased during the pandemic, partly because enforcement of anti-distracted driving laws was so poor during those months. In 2019, we saw a one percent reduction in pedestrian accident fatalities from the previous year. Even so, those were the highest fatality numbers on record since 1990, indicating that pedestrian accident fatality numbers have been on the rise for quite a while now.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, talk to an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers, and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may have the right to file a claim for damages to help you recover compensation for damages that include medical costs, lost income, diminished income earning capacity and other types of damages. Talk to a lawyer at our firm, and determine your rights to a claim.