The world can be a dangerous place. Traffic accidents can happen to anyone at any time – even if they aren’t the one driving. Simply walking along the street may be enough to cause a Seattle resident to get hurt in a crash.
Despite national efforts to decrease impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and other illegal behavior, pedestrian fatalities are actually rising at a frightening rate. In fact, the number of pedestrian deaths in the past year is at a higher level than it has been in 25 years.
According to data compiled from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, this rate is disproportionate to other types of deadly crashes. Over the last ten years, other fatalities actually lowered by 14 percent. Meanwhile, pedestrian fatalities rose by 27 percent.
Naturally, this issue led researchers to wonder why these tragic accidents continue to rise each year. Although they don’t have a definitive answer, they did find a link between marijuana legalization and higher fatalities. Washington was among those states that saw an increase in pedestrian deaths.
Researchers also suggested that distractions from phones and technology may affect the rate. As more drivers have access to devices in the vehicle, more drivers might not see a child crossing the street while sending a text.
Pedestrians may be able to minimize their chances of becoming an accident victim. Because 75% of fatalities occurred on dark roads, pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing if possible to stay as visible as possible. Crossing properly at crosswalks and minding pedestrian light signals may also help.
However, the responsibility should not fall on pedestrians. Drivers must stay vigilant. If you have lost a loved one in one of these tragic accidents, you can hold the driver accountable in a court of law with guidance from your attorney.