pedestrian accident lawyer

Why Have Pedestrian Deaths Been Rising in the US?

Walking on America’s streets has never been more dangerous. Whether you are walking through downtown Seattle or strolling through a residential neighborhood, there is always the chance that a crash could occur due to one party’s neglect or carelessness. There have been a record number of pedestrian deaths in the United States in the last 3 years, and that number is only rising.


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According to a 2020 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 6,500 people were killed in 2019 alone, a 5% increase from the year before. What is even more alarming is this is the largest number of pedestrian deaths in over 30 years. Not only that, but pedestrian deaths have risen over 50% in the last decade alone. In the year 2019, pedestrian deaths accounted for 17% of all traffic-related fatalities, which is a big jump from 12% just a few years back in 2009. According to the GHSA’s Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, there was an 11% increase in fatalities in Washington state from 2018 to 2019.

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There is no denying that pedestrian deaths have been rising in recent years, in Washington state and across the entire United States- but why? There are a multitude of factors that may affect this increase in pedestrian deaths, including:

  • Distracted Driving: Many people are driving distracted, using smartphones and other rising in popularity technological devices while driving.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Many drivers are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, severely impairing their reflexes and judgement while on the road.
  • Speeding: This dangerous driving behavior can limit a person’s reaction time if coming to a quick stop is necessary.
  • Vehicles are Getting Bigger: A rise in popularity among SUVs and truck models means more big vehicles are on the road. These bigger, heavier vehicles are far more deadly than cars when they hit a pedestrian.
  • More Vehicles are On the Road: More vehicles are on the road. More people are returning to work, and thus more people are on the roads commuting and otherwise.

Three quarters of pedestrian deaths happen at night, according to CBS News. Most of these occur on local roads and away from intersections. When a driver is distracted by a phone or other distractor, they are less likely to see a pedestrian walking alongside or near the road.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a car crash or truck crash involving a pedestrian in Washington state, please reach out to Kevin Coluccio at the Coluccio Law Firm. Coluccio has over 30 years of experience representing seriously injured people and the families of those that have died. Based out of Seattle, WA, Coluccio works with clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Portland, OR. Contact Coluccio Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Sources/More Information:
GHSA Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities By State :
CBS News:
US News:

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