As we previously reported – traffic deaths are now rising for the first time in over 50 years.
Equally alarming – pedestrian deaths have risen by 25% in just the last five years.
You read that correctly… 25%. And 2016 saw the largest jump in pedestrian deaths year-over-year ever – 33% in Connecticut alone.
And up to 50% of all child pedestrian deaths involve teens.
So, what’s going on?
Some traffic safety experts say that both drivers and pedestrians may be to blame – for they have something in common. They are both looking down at mobile devices rather than paying attention to their environment.
You’ve heard of distracted driving. A review of available data seems to confirm a new reality – more and more pedestrians are guilty of distracted walking – and suffering serious injuries as a result.
Are there other factors?
A big one is speed. Cars and trucks are simply moving too fast in congested areas. A pedestrian struck by a car going 20 MPH has a 10% chance of dying. One struck by a car going 40 MPH has an 80% chance of dying.
Other takeaways from available data – 74% of all pedestrian deaths occur at night, and 72% of those killed were not crossing at intersections.
And then there is alcohol. Most drivers have been taught not to drink in drive. Sadly, many walkers drink and then walk along busy roads with tragic consequences.
Weren’t new cars with advanced onboard safety sensors supposed to make cars safer – and less likely to strike other cars or pedestrians?
Yes. But sadly, many drivers don’t fully understand these technologies, and according to experts, dismantle the features rendering them useless.
So what’s to be done?
First, planners must continue to work to improve road design and include better sidewalks and lighting in those designs.
Beyond that, drivers and walkers must learn to put down their mobile devices when they are driving or walking. Drivers that ignore this warning are breaking the law. Walkers who ignore it are risking their lives.
If you or a loved one are ever injured as pedestrians in Connecticut, know that the Connecticut personal injury lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting pedestrians injured in accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever injured in an accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.