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Pedestrian Fatalities Reach 41-Year High: Drivers Hit and Killed Over 7,500 Walkers in 2022

Low angle view of a pedestrian crosswalk traffic signal lights in a city

National traffic safety experts recently expressed serious concerns about the record number of pedestrian accident fatalities last year, which was over 7,500 deaths and the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in a single year since 1981.

"This continues the upward trend (in pedestrian fatalities) that the United States has been experiencing for decades," says a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) about the 2022 pedestrian death toll.

Pedestrian deaths continue to increase nationwide

The GHSA's annual report on pedestrian deaths provides crucial insights into the alarming trend of increasing fatalities. In 2022 alone, the number of pedestrian deaths reached a staggering 7,508.

Unfortunately, this represents a continuing trend observed over the years, with a nationwide increase of 77 percent in pedestrian fatalities from 2010 to 2022. Alarmingly, between 2019 and 2022, there was a 19 percent rise in pedestrian deaths.

"Every day, 20 people go for a walk and do not return home," said Jonathan Adkins, GHSA chief executive officer, in an interview with Forbes about the recent GHSA study. "These are people living their daily lives – commuting to and from school and work, picking up groceries, walking the dog, getting some exercise – who died suddenly and violently."

Texas pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents have posed a significant and persistent challenge in Texas. Over the past decade, the state witnessed a 73 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2012 to 2022, as reported by NHTSA's accident data. The gravity of the situation was further highlighted in 2022, with Texas recording 834 pedestrian fatalities, a slight 1 percent rise from the previous year's toll of 826, as stated by the GHSA. Remarkably, Texas ranked second in terms of pedestrian deaths nationwide in 2022, with only California surpassing its numbers.

Common causes of pedestrian accidents

The ongoing rise in pedestrian fatalities has been attributed to various factors, as highlighted by the GHSA and traffic safety experts:

  • Drunk driving alone accounts for an alarming 19 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents.
  • Speeding continues to contribute to at least 8 percent of these accidents.
  • The prevalence of texting and other distractions while driving has become an increasingly common cause of pedestrian collisions.

Additionally, experts have pointed out the impact of larger vehicles on pedestrian safety, particularly SUVs. These vehicles have been found to be associated with a higher number of pedestrian fatalities compared to other types of vehicles. A recent episode of Freakonomics shed light on this issue, further emphasizing the relationship between vehicle size and the alarming pedestrian death toll observed in recent years.

How to prevent pedestrian accidents

The GHSA has put forth a range of recommendations aimed at preventing future pedestrian accidents, such as:

  • Enhance street lighting infrastructure, particularly in high-risk areas such as crosswalks and locations with a history of pedestrian accidents.
  • Implement lower speed limits on streets where previous pedestrian accidents have occurred.
  • Prioritize pedestrian safety in road design by incorporating features that promote safe interactions between pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Strengthen law enforcement efforts, with a particular focus on enforcing traffic laws related to speeding and drunk driving.
  • Educate drivers, especially younger individuals, about the inherent dangers pedestrians encounter on the road.

Contact a Dallas, TX, pedestrian accident attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Dallas, Texas, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. Pedestrian accidents can result in devastating injuries and have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Navigating the legal complexities of such cases can be overwhelming, but with the help of an experienced attorney, you can protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Trust Marye Law in Dallas for your legal needs. With over two decades of experience, our knowledgeable attorneys are here to guide you in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident. If you or someone you love was hit by a car and injured, contact us today for a free case evaluation. We are here to help.

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