What You Should Know About Pedestrian Injuries and SUV Collisions
Although the country is currently experiencing a significant health crisis with COVID-19, a recent article in USA Today points to “an epidemic of a different kind.” While the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in fewer cars being on the roads, especially during regular workday hours and rush-hour times, there is still a “pedestrian safety crisis” that continues to worsen in large part due to SUV drivers and collisions with pedestrians. We want to say more about the article and the key issues it highlights when it comes to pedestrian injuries and SUV collisions.
Pedestrian Deaths Have Risen Significantly in Recent Years
Between 2010 and 2018, the total number of pedestrian fatalities in the country rose by 46 percent. In 2018, pedestrian fatalities reached a peak that had not been seen for nearly 30 years. Nearly 6,300 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), making clear that safety advocates need to invest more time in researching the underlying causes of the spike in pedestrian deaths.
Angie Schmitt, a former writer for Streetsblog USA, has a new book that is one of the first to address the “silent epidemic of pedestrian deaths in America,” and to consider the ways in which race and class play into the underlying issues that lead to pedestrian fatalities. As Schmitt argues, “pedestrian deaths are part of a systemic problem with systemic causes.”
Road Infrastructure is Partially to Blame
One of the major reasons for so many pedestrian fatalities is that road infrastructure is not designed with pedestrians in mind. As Schmitt explains, “in most states, almost every intersection is considered an unmarked crosswalk, meaning that pedestrians have the legal right to cross there, even if there are no stripes on the road.” However, the fact that there are not more crosswalks, and that drivers are not trained to watch for pedestrians at every turn, leads to more collisions.
Car Culture Creates Dangerous Conditions for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
In addition, car culture plays a role—both the way drivers think and the types of cars they buy. For many motorists, American car culture allows them to see pedestrians as a “nuisance,” and accordingly, drivers may not be as cautious as they should be. Further, SUVs, which are extremely popular here, led to more serious injuries when they are involved in collisions with pedestrians.
People of Color May Be More Likely to Sustain Injuries
Generally speaking, according to Schmitt, “people of color are more likely to rely on walking as their primary way of getting around and are more likely to use mass transit, which requires additional walking.” More time on foot means greater risk of being struck by a motor vehicle.
Get in Touch with a Marietta Traffic Collision Lawyer
At The Strickland Firm, we are committed to helping pedestrians and vehicle occupants who have been injured in crashes to seek the compensation they deserve. It is important to hold negligent drivers accountable, and to improve safety conditions for pedestrians and drivers alike. If a negligent motorist caused an accident that led to your injuries, an experienced Marietta car accident lawyer at our firm can discuss your options with you today. Contact The Strickland Firm to find out more about how we can assist you with your traffic collision claim.