More and more people nowadays are choosing to make walking a part of their regular routines. Whether it be for commuting purposes or purely recreational reasons, walking has become more popular and is thought of as a healthy and “green” alternative to motoring everywhere.
Unfortunately, being a pedestrian comes with its own dangers. The Governors Highway Safety Association recently issued a new report estimating that 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2018. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990.
Of course, motorists have a duty under the law to drive in a reasonable and safe manner at all times. If a pedestrian is struck and injured by a negligent driver who is breaching this standard of care, then the pedestrian may seek compensation for injuries stemming from the collision. With the help of an attorney well versed in personal injury tampa, an injured walker can obtain compensation that is deserved.
There are a number of reasons behind the tragic increase in pedestrian fatalities. The primary factors are examined below.
As noted above, walking has increased in popularity in the past few decades for a variety of reasons. The more walkers near roadways increases the possibility of motor vehicle accidents involving people on foot. The higher level of exposure leads to more serious injuries and deaths.
Anyone who drives at all has seen firsthand the rise of much larger, more powerful vehicles. Indeed, SUVs, large trucks with extended cabs, and minivans with third row seating dominate to the highways. These automobiles are not just longer, but also significantly heavier. This has the effect of inflicting more severe, even life threatening, injuries to pedestrians who have virtually no defense.
The proliferation of smartphones has led to a corresponding increase in levels of distracted driving. Talking, texting, FaceTiming, and apps lead the parade of nearly endless ways that a smartphone can distract a driver who is reckless enough to engage in these frivolous activities while operating a motor vehicle that can weigh multiple tons. Tech devices draw the operator’s eyes away from the road, cause the driver to remove hands from the steering wheel, and lessen cognitive focus on surroundings, including pedestrians.
Other Unsafe Driving Behaviors
There are a plethora of other unsafe actions that drivers engage in that have contributed to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. These include speeding, driving while drowsy, and the scourge of alcohol impaired driving.
If you or someone you love is ever injured by a motorist while walking, an experienced injury attorney can help determine whether the vehicle operator failed to remain alert at the wheel in violation of the law.