Number of fatal pedestrian accidents maintains problematic rate

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2018 | Pedestrian Accidents

New Yorkers who are on the streets for any amount of time will be aware of the dangers to pedestrians. Because the city is so busy and people are often in a rush, there is a significant chance that there will be pedestrian accidents. This can happen because drivers are not paying attention, are reckless, are breaking the law and for many other reasons. Studies attempt to calculate the number of pedestrian accidents, determine their cause and take steps to stop them. People who have been hit by a car as a pedestrian should be cognizant of these studies.

New information from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says that there were around 6,000 fatal pedestrian accidents in the United States in 2017. This was the second year in a row in which the number was that high — the highest in 25 years. The executive director of GHSA states that this is a worrisome trend for everyone as it is not an anomaly. Two consecutive years with this high a number constitutes a red flag.

The first half of 2017’s numbers were the latest statistics available and the number approaching 6,000 for the year is an estimate of what the official total will be. For the first six months of the year, there were 2,636 pedestrian deaths. That would come to around 5,984 in the entire year. In 2016, the total was similar at 5,987. Of all deaths from motor vehicle accidents, 16 percent involved pedestrians.

It is believed that two major factors in this increase are the rising use of smartphones and some states’ legalization of marijuana. Between 2010 and 2016, the use of smartphones increased by 236 percent. The seven states along with Washington D.C. that have legalized marijuana have seen a rise of more than 16 percent of pedestrian deaths. While New York has yet to legalize marijuana use, people driving after using the drug can constitute a danger whether it is legal or not. This places pedestrians in jeopardy.

With pedestrian accidents, the victims are left woefully unprotected from serious injuries and fatalities. The injuries for those who survive being hit by a car can last for a lifetime and cost massive amounts of money in medical care, lost time at work and quality of life. After fatal pedestrian accidents, the family left behind must come to grips with their loss in a multitude of ways. A legal filing can help to recoup some of what was lost after a pedestrian accident.

Source:, “Pedestrian deaths topped more than 6,000 in 2017,” Melina Druga, March 1, 2018