According to statistics from local police agencies, 50 or 60 people in the D.C. area are struck by vehicles and killed every year, with average deaths peaking in August. These deaths are part of a trend – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that pedestrian fatalities caused by vehicles jumped almost 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, the largest increase since 1996. Why are pedestrian accidents on the rise?
It could be a man trying to reach a bus stop who is struck and dragged for a mile. It could be an elderly churchgoer killed in a hit and run. It could be a 5-month old boy being pushed in a stroller. It could even be you. No one is immune to pedestrian accidents.
There are various things that can cause pedestrian accidents. Speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving and pedestrians darting into roads without looking are all potential causes. Other officials point to national factors, such as lower case prices, putting more drivers on the road. And walkable city initiatives, which many consider positive pushes for change, are designed to put more people out there on foot, exposing them to the dangers of pedestrian accidents.
So, what can we do about it? Encourage drivers to practice safer driving. Do what we can to prevent drunk driving. Teach drivers the dangers of using cell phones while driving. For pedestrians, we can encourage them to follow safe walking tips, such as crossing at crosswalks and intersections, wearing high-visibility clothing at night and, if there are no sidewalks, walk against the flow of traffic on the shoulder. That way, you are more able to react when you see a car coming.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. is a firm that defends pedestrian accident victims against drunk drivers. Call us today to speak to an experienced attorney that can help you.