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Jul 28 2020

Recent Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities - How to Protect Yourself

By Attorney Matthew Willis / In Personal Injury

According to a recent report on an analysis of federal and state data, pedestrian fatalities on U.S. roadways have increased by more than 50 percent in the past decade. These statistics jumped up while the deaths of those riding in vehicles were relatively unchanged according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Factors that were suggested to lead to the recent rise include:

  • Lack of safe road crossings for pedestrians (especially at night)
  • Unsafe driving behaviors (distracted driving due to smartphones)
  • Increasing numbers of heavy-duty SUVs on the roads
  • Rising gas prices causing more people to walk or choose greener transportation

Connecticut roads are not always the safest. From a lack of sidewalks and bike paths to poor maintenance, the state came in 27th in 2014 for pedestrian safety, with the greatest number of fatalities in New Haven, Hartford, and Fairfield counties.

Who is Most Vulnerable to Pedestrian Accidents
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the following groups are most vulnerable to these types of accidents:

  • Adults ages 65 and older (20% of fatalities and 13% of injuries)
  • Children under the age of 15 (1 out of every 5 children killed in traffic accidents were under the age of 15 with the greatest risk landing on the 5-9 age range)

What Pedestrians Can Do to Protect Themselves
While the reported numbers are staggering, there are several things pedestrians can do to protect themselves on the road, including:

  • Be predictable and follow the rules of the road
  • Use sidewalks and cross at crosswalks
  • Walk facing traffic
  • Be alert and stay off the phone by the road
  • Cross in well-lit areas
  • Never assume a driver sees you
  • Be visible and wear bright or reflective clothing at night
  • Watch for cars exiting driveways or backing out of parking spots
  • Avoid walking near the road if impaired

What to Do When a Pedestrian Accident Occurs
If an accident involving a pedestrian does occur, here are some steps that should be taken:

  • Call the police right away
  • Never leave the scene before help arrives
  • Get names and numbers of any witnesses
  • Take pictures of the scene
  • Consider getting legal representation

Being involved in a pedestrian accident is a life-changing experience and could result in expensive medical treatments, long-term disability, time off of work, and reduced future employment options. Insurance companies might push back on accident claims and make it more difficult for victims to receive due compensation. Personal Injury Lawyers can be helpful to protect the rights of Connecticut citizens and help them navigate the entire process.


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