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Pedestrian Deaths Hit Highest Mark in Over 40 Years

pedestrian crossing Florida, Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows a disturbing trend in U.S. pedestrian deaths. In 2022, at least 7,508 people were killed in pedestrian accidents – the highest number recorded since 1981.  

Fatalities have been sharply increasing since 2010

The report also analyzed 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and found that pedestrian fatalities have risen 77% since 2010 – a much higher increase than all other traffic-related deaths.  

“The saddest part is that these crashes are preventable,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins. “We know what works – better-designed infrastructure, lower speeds, addressing risky driving behaviors that pose a danger to people walking. We must do these things and more to reverse this awful trend and protect people on foot. Enough is enough.” 

Study finds Tampa area dangerous for pedestrians 

There were 824 pedestrian fatalities in Florida, down nine from the year before. A study from Smart Growth America ranked the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area as the fourth-most dangerous for pedestrians, using data from 2016 to 2020.  

The GHSA also examined 2021 data from the NHTSA to identify certain trends in pedestrian deaths, including:

  • Among pedestrian fatalities in 2021, 77% occurred when it was dark, and fatal crashes at night increased by 86% since 2010. 
  • Since 2012, pedestrian deaths involving SUVs rose 120%, a much greater increase than deaths involving passenger cars (26%).  
  • There was no sidewalk reported in crash reports for 69% of pedestrian fatalities, up from 59% in 2017 and continuing an upward trend.  
  • Speeding was involved in 8.1% of pedestrian deaths in 2021. This was a slight decrease from the year before but higher than before the pandemic when 6%-7% of pedestrian fatalities involved speeding. 
  • Non-freeway arterial roads that carry large volumes of traffic at high speeds were the most dangerous for pedestrians and were the location of 60% of deaths in 2021.  

Programs to protect pedestrians

The report discusses how the Safe System approach can improve pedestrian safety and cited programs that state highway safety offices (SHSOs) are using to address the problem. These programs involve: 

  • Designing and building safer roadways 
  • Engaging with people experiencing homelessness 
  • Focusing traffic enforcement on dangerous driving behaviors (including speeding, driving impaired, and driving distracted) 
  • Educating novice drivers about their responsibility for pedestrian safety.  

An experienced attorney can help you recover compensation

Pedestrians are seriously injured and killed in Florida every year. Families who lost loved ones are left to mourn and can be left with expenses that cause financial stress. Injured victims are left with mounting medical bills, lost wages if they couldn’t work, and other damages.  

Negligent drivers who cause pedestrian accidents need to be held accountable. But they often deny doing anything wrong, even if they were speeding or driving recklessly. Insurance companies are supposed to help, but their main goal is to limit the amount they have to pay.  

If you were hit by a car or a loved one died in a fatal pedestrian accident, Armando Personal Injury Law can help. We understand the devastating impact a pedestrian crash can have. That’s why we investigate to gather evidence and build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Tampa and throughout Hillsborough County.

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