Pedestrians in Kentucky and around the country are being killed in worryingly large numbers according to a preliminary analysis of traffic accident data conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Administration. The figures estimate that 6,590 pedestrians lost their lives in 2019 after being struck by a car, truck or SUV. If the numbers prove to be accurate, 2019 would be the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1988. The underlying trend is even more worrying as it reveals that pedestrian fatalities have risen by 60% since 2009.
While some pedestrians are killed in intersections as they cross busy city streets, most die after being struck by a motor vehicle while walking along a local road at night. The GHSA report says that efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths should focus on improving visibility and deterring behavior like distracted, fatigued and impaired driving. The nonprofit advocacy group is also worried about the growing popularity of large pickup trucks and SUVs.
The popularity of these vehicles is a concern because the figures reveal that pedestrians struck by full-sized utility vehicles are twice as likely to lose their lives as pedestrians struck by lighter and smaller cars. Light trucks and SUVs accounted for 69% of new vehicle registrations in 2018. In 2009, that figure stood at just 48%. The study also suggests that new and sophisticated automobile safety systems like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings do little to prevent pedestrian accidents.
Negligent drivers often claim that pedestrians are at least partially to blame for causing the accidents that injure them. If a person suffered injury, loss or damage after being struck by a car, an experienced personal injury attorney may check police reports carefully before initiating litigation on the victim’s behalf for evidence that could be used to counter comparative negligence claims. An attorney might also have the vehicle involved inspected for signs of neglect and shoddy repairs that may have contributed to the accident.