Why Are Pedestrian Deaths On the Rise … and What Can You Do to Stay Safe?

Pedestrian accidents in the U.S. have been bolting upward in the last few years.

According to a recent analysis by AAA Foundation, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by more than 50 percent between 2009 and 2018. A different report by the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that pedestrian deaths rose by 21% between 2019 and 2020.

But what is really causing pedestrian injuries and deaths on our roads? Keep reading as we explore some of the modern-day causes of pedestrian accidents and what can be done to avoid them. 

Before that, let us first understand what you should do if you ever get injured in a pedestrian accident.

What to do if you are injured in a pedestrian accident

Check yourself for injuries and move to safety.

After a pedestrian accident, the first thing you need to do is check yourself for injuries. If your injuries are serious, stay still and wait for emergency help to arrive.

However, if you can move, move to the sidewalk. Whenever possible, try taking photos or video footage of the accident scene, and be sure to capture the vehicle license plate as you wait. The evidence you collect might become helpful when pursuing compensation.

Hire a personal injury lawyer who specializes in personal injury accidents

When you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident, you will most likely want to seek compensation from the at-fault party. 

Whether your injuries are serious or not, you stand a good chance to recover a considerable amount in compensation if you let a skilled personal lawyer handle settlement negotiations or represent you in the courtroom.

Examples of successful pedestrian settlements in New York include:

  • $525,000 settlement for a pedestrian who got injured by a distracted pizza delivery driver
  • $800,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was struck in a crosswalk on E. 26th Street
  • $1,100,000 settlement for an aged woman who was knocked down in a crosswalk

Common causes of pedestrian accidents


Technology is one of the main factors contributing to the uptick in pedestrian deaths. Cell phone usage, in particular, is a huge source of distraction as drivers and pedestrians talk, text, or engage on social media.

Additionally, the increased use of computer-aided navigation and entertainment systems in vehicles has become a major source of distracted driving, which is a leading cause of traffic accidents.   

Traffic density

Another reason why pedestrian deaths are on the rise is the increase of vehicles on the roads. Put simply, drivers are often on the lookout for other vehicles, meaning they may not notice pedestrians until it is too late. 

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs have also contributed to the rising pedestrian accidents. Whether you walk or get behind the wheel, alcohol or drug influence puts you and other road users at the risk of accidents.

How to avoid road accidents as a pedestrian?

  • Before crossing a street, always make sure your presence is not obstructed by buses, parked cars, or hedges.
  • Always wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Be sure to make good eye contact with drivers when crossing the road and never assume they can see you.
  • Avoid walking when under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or strong medications.
  • Don’t use your cell phone or any other electronic device that may distract you.
  • Only walk on safe areas such as sidewalks or crosswalks.

Final words

Although pedestrian deaths in the United States have been rising steadily over the past few years, there are still so many road users, and the governments can stop these accidents

However, if you get injured in a pedestrian accident and suspect someone else is to blame, a personal injury lawyer can help you recoup compensation.



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