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Number of pedestrian fatalities continues to climb

According to a preliminary analysis of 2018 figures, the number of fatalities due to pedestrian accidents will come to 6,227, a 4 percent increase over 2017’s numbers. This will be the first time that there have been more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths on this country’s roads since 1990.

Perhaps more disturbingly, over the last decade, the number of pedestrian fatalities due to car accidents has increased by 35 percent, even in spite of all kinds of improvements in technology and other safety features.

To contrast, the number of traffic-related deaths overall has decreased by 6 percent. Naturally, this means pedestrian deaths are making up a larger share of overall fatalities on the roads and highways of Louisiana and the other states.

Some experts have called for federal regulators to start the process of intervening. Specifically, the call is for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to examine the possibility of requiring auto manufacturers to include advanced technology in vehicles, including pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking.

Of course, some of the problem boils down to what can simply be called negligent or reckless driving. For instance, a person who was familiar with the study blamed, in part, the ongoing problem with pedestrian accidents on distracted driving as well as driving under the influence. This same person also suggested the efforts to reduce speed limits in areas where pedestrians are likely to frequent were also helpful.

Hopefully, enough progress will be made in improving pedestrian safety to reverse the ongoing epidemic of pedestrian fatalities. In the meantime, the families of victims should remember that they may have the legal option to hold a negligent driver accountable.