6,590 pedestrians killed in 2019, marking 30-year high

Colorado residents should be more careful than ever when walking because the number of pedestrian accidents and fatalities is reaching nearly unprecedented levels. Pedestrian deaths saw a decline between 1988 and 2009, but since then, they have been steadily going up. The Governors Highway Safety Administration has looked at the partial traffic death data available for 2019, and the results are as follows.

An estimated 6,590 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2019. This marks a 5% increase from 2018 and a startling 60% increase from 2009. By contrast, all other traffic deaths rose only 2% from 2009 to 2018. Not since 1988 has the number of pedestrian deaths been this high. As for the fatality rate, this came to 2.0 deaths per 100,000 people, which has seen no equal since 1997.

Certain states saw more fatalities than others. California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida together accounted for 47% of them. Incidentally, one-third of the U.S. population resides in these five states. Fatality rates were at their worst in Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii. The safest states for pedestrians were Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont.

More phone use behind the wheel is partially to blame for this trend. Another factor that the GHSA mentions is the growing popularity of SUVs and light trucks, which are notorious for fatally injuring pedestrians.

When pedestrian accidents arise because drivers were distracted, speeding or negligent in some other way, victims may be able to seek compensatory damages from that driver’s auto insurance company. If they were partially to blame, victims may find it harder to achieve a fair settlement; whatever their situation, though, it may be wise to retain legal counsel. A lawyer may assist with the negotiations, and if the insurer refuses payment, he or she might proceed to litigation.