In 2016, there were 5,987 pedestrian deaths in the United States. That was a 27 percent increase since 2007, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). During this same time period, all other types of traffic fatalities dropped by 14 percent. It is believed that cell phones and marijuana are among the main culprits for the rise in pedestrian deaths.
In states where recreational marijuana use was legalized between 2012 and 2016, there has been an increase in pedestrian deaths. Specifically, there was a 16.4 percent increase between the first half of 2016 compared to the same time in 2017. During that same time period, there was a 5.8 decrease in pedestrian fatalities in all other states. However, there have been some question as to whether marijuana use on the part of drivers or pedestrians is responsible for those numbers.
A large number of pedestrian deaths can also be attributed to the absence of light. In 2016, 75 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred at night. It is believed that the introduction of self-driving vehicles will make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians. However, researchers say that more should be done, such as creating overpasses for pedestrians or sidewalks that protect them from vehicles. Timers at crosswalks should also be designed to give pedestrians enough time to cross the street.
If a person is hurt in a motor vehicle accident, he or she may be compensated for medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings. The families of individuals who are killed in car accidents could choose to file a wrongful death suit. This is true if negligence caused the accident to occur. Negligence may include driving while impaired or using a phone while driving.