Florida was among the states with high populations that recorded a collective 5 percent rise in pedestrian deaths during the first half of 2018. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association cited growing population as one source of the increase in traffic fatalities involving pedestrians. With more people crossing streets, the likelihood of accidents increase, but sport utility vehicles and smartphone distractions appear to be contributing to the problem as well.
Consumers are choosing SUVs over sedans in increasing numbers. SUVs and trucks currently represent 60 percent of new vehicle sales, and their taller designs pose greater threats to pedestrians. Their height doubles the chance of killing people on foot compared to impacts with lower-profile sedans. Since 2013, fatal pedestrian accidents involving SUVs went up by 50 percent.
The GSHA report also discussed the problem of distracted driving due to smartphone use. The widespread adoption of smartphones between 2010 and 2017 corresponded with the increase in pedestrian accidents. A survey published by the American Automobile Association revealed that 49 percent of respondents used hand-held phones while driving.These trends have combined to raise the estimated death toll for pedestrians to well over 6,000 in 2018. This preliminary figure marks the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1990.
A driver who is distracted, speeding or ignoring other traffic laws could be held accountable by an accident victim. Pedestrian injuries tend to be serious. On top of pain and suffering, lost pay and high medical expenses could inflict serious financial hardship. The support of an attorney could help an injured person understand and manage the process of recovering damages from the negligent driver.