A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association says that the number of pedestrian fatalities during 2018 was the highest it has been since the year 1990. People traveling in vehicles or walking near roadways in Ohio should be aware of the statistics. According to the study, the number of pedestrian fatalities has increased 51.5 percent since 2009, when there were 4,109 such incidents. In 2018, pedestrian deaths accounted for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities.
The increasing prevalence of smartphones and sport utility vehicles may be one of the causes behind the increase. Nighttime accidents were behind 90 percent of the increase in pedestrian fatalities in the past 10 years, which led the GHSA report to recommend greater safety measures at road crossings along with more public service announcements for drivers to avoid distracted driving, drowsy driving, driving under the influence and speeding. In approximately half of the pedestrian death accidents, alcohol use by the pedestrian or the driver was a factor.
The GHSA listed several other factors that could be contributing to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. The number of smartphones in use in the U.S. increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and wireless data consumption jumped by 4,000 percent during that period. Additionally, more people are walking. The number of people in the U.S. who said they walk to work increased by 4 percent from 2007 to 2016.
In cases where pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents, their families or estates may be entitled to compensation for damages. An attorney with experience handling wrongful death lawsuits might be able to help by identifying potential defendants or conducting witness interviews to build a case for trial.