Pedestrian deaths have increased again, according to the newest report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). According to the report, which was made in February of this year, there were approximately 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019. That’s the most pedestrian fatalities the nation has seen in more than 30 years and represents an estimated 5% increase over 2018.
That’s bad news. For Florida, however, the news is even worse: It’s one of just five states that are responsible for 47% of all pedestrian deaths. The other states contributing to that percentage include California, Arizona, Georgia and Texas.
Why are there so many pedestrian fatalities these days? There’s probably no one cause. Instead, it’s probably a combination of things, like:
- The sheer number of pedestrians has increased over the years as people adopt walking and bicycling for environmental, health or economic reasons as their main mode of transportation
- The lack of safe crosswalks and pedestrian-friendly walkways in some areas, particularly along rural roads
- The number of drivers who are distracted by modern conveniences, like cellphones and navigation devices
- The increasing number of larger vehicles on the road, as Americans have come to favor sports utility vehicles over smaller cars
That last item may be a major factor in the increase in deaths. While deaths involving passenger cars have risen 53% over the last decade, deaths involving sports utility vehicles have climbed 81%.
It’s important to remember that when a pedestrian and a motor vehicle collide, the pedestrian always loses. If you were injured in an accident with a negligent driver or your loved one was killed, find out what it takes to hold that driver accountable for their actions.