Personal injury and death for pedestrians stays troublingly high

For Missouri pedestrians, the roads are rife with dangers. This was true before technological advancements gave drivers more ways to become distracted. The current climate has made it even more risky for pedestrians to be on the road. Given their vulnerability, pedestrians can face severe injuries and death after being hit by a motor vehicle. Many people might think they are cautious enough that an accident will not happen to them, but statistics are showing just how prevalent car-pedestrian accidents are becoming and why the problem is getting worse.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were almost 6,000 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2017. Factors GHSA cited were drivers using their smartphones behind the wheel and the use of alcohol and marijuana. The numbers are the worst they have been in 25 years. From 2007 to 2016, the number of pedestrian deaths rose by 27 percent. Incidents of all other traffic fatalities lowered by 14 percent. An estimated 75 percent of these deaths happened at night.

Smartphone use is a common denominator in this troubling increase in pedestrian fatalities. From 2010 to 2016, there was an increase in smartphone use by 236 percent. Marijuana use is viewed as a factor as well, especially in the seven states where it is now legal. Those seven states had a rise in pedestrian deaths of more than 16 percent in the first six months of 2017. Those states and Washington D.C. all legalized the substance between 2012 and 2016. The total numbers are not complete yet but judging by the 2,636 pedestrians who died in the first six months of 2017, the numbers will be just shy of 6,000 fatalities. That is around where the numbers were for 2016.

When there is a pedestrian-car accident, the pedestrian will inevitably suffer injuries. That can mean broken bones, head injuries, brain injuries, injuries to the spinal cord and more. Often, this ends with a fatality. If the person survives, they might need a long hospital stay and substantial treatment but may never return to normal. With a fatality, the family will need to learn to move forward without their loved one. Having legal assistance to pursue a personal injury case is often the key to a successful filing. Calling an attorney who is experienced in pedestrian cases can help.

Source:, “Smartphone use, impairment blamed for rise in pedestrian deaths,” Amy Lieu, March 1, 2018