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In U.S. A Pedestrian Dies Every 90 Seconds

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The number of pedestrian deaths in the United States per year has been climbing since 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times. Deaths now result from pedestrian accidents in the U.S. once every 90 seconds.

Nearly 40,000 pedestrians have died in the U.S. since 2010, according to the latest federal data. The pedestrian death data for 2018 is not yet available, but it is projected to top 6,000 deaths, which would make it the deadliest year in over 30 years.

Higher Pedestrian Death Rates In Low-Income Areas

This trend disproportionately affects low-income, primarily minority communities, which often contain five to six lane arterial roads with high speed limits, little thought given to pedestrian logistics and few places to cross the street.

Between 2008 and 2017, 1.5 people per 100,000 were killed in pedestrian in the U.S. However, the death rate was 2.5 per 100,000 people in census tracts with a medium income of $36,000 or less

“Communities of color in Los Angeles, for example, have been waiting for sidewalks for almost 30 or 40 years, infrastructure that just has not been a priority for the city of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Councilwoman, Nury Martinez.

Almost two-thirds of pedestrian serious injuries and deaths occurred on just 6% of Los Angeles streets from 2009 to 2013, according to California Highway Patrol data.

Why Are Pedestrian Deaths Increasing?

Pedestrians often use arterial roads because that’s where retail stores and bus routes are, and navigation apps are increasingly directing drivers to use arterial roads as well. Many of these roads have speed limits exceeding 40 miles per hour, have sidewalks which are very close to travel lanes and lack adequate lighting or median islands.

The pedestrian death toll in Los Angeles, for example, increased 80% from 2015 to 2017. In 2017, 134 pedestrians died in Los Angeles, and 127 pedestrian deaths were reported for 2018.

How Other Countries Have Decreased Pedestrian Fatality Rates

Pedestrian deaths are dropping in the European Union and Japan, where regulations require automakers to pass pedestrian safety tests. EU automakers have redesigned the fronts of their vehicles with softer bumpers, repositioned engine components and raised the height of hoods. Pedestrian fatalities dropped by 36% in the EU from 2007 to 2016. Experts say a similar approach in the U.S. could save many lives.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn’t issued any pedestrian safety regulations because every time the NHTSA has done a cost-benefit analysis on this, they determined that the benefits would be outweighed by the costs.

Every year, the personal injury attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen receive calls from devastated family members who have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our office for a free consultation. We will fight to obtain justice and compensation for your injuries or loss.


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