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Companies that manufacture motor vehicles are constantly getting better at producing safe and reliable designs. Vehicle flaws once overlooked now get addressed regularly. From side-impact airbags to restraint adjustments to make safety belts safer for children, the focus on safety has generally benefited the public.

Unfortunately, safer and larger vehicles make drivers feel overconfident on the road. Instead of driving with the level of caution and respect this dangerous task deserves, overconfident drivers may engage in more dangerous driving practices, like distracted driving.

Those questionable choices, in turn, drastically increase the risk for people who don’t have the protection of a vehicle around them, such as bicyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians. Pedestrians are at increased risk for fatal crashes based on recent statistics.

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise

While better vehicles make it more likely for occupants in those cars to survive a crash, the same is not true for pedestrians who get struck by someone in a large motor vehicle. In fact, the roads have become significantly more dangerous for pedestrians in recent years.

According to research from 2019, there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths, a figure which represents a 5% increase from the previous year. Simply put, pedestrians must face more risk, with their current fatality rate sitting at the highest point it’s been in 30 years.

Researchers note that nighttime pedestrian deaths rose more sharply than daytime fatalities, but both sets of crashes were up significantly over the last few years. Additionally, pedestrians are at higher risk when they cross roads far from intersections with marked crossing areas.

Not all pedestrian accidents are fatal

Looking at the increase in fatalities is shocking, but there are also many people who wind up severely injured as a pedestrian because of the decisions made by someone in a motor vehicle. Both those who suffer serious injuries in a car wreck and those who lose a loved one in a fatal crash have the theoretical right to bring a claim against the driver who caused the pedestrian accident.

Personal injury and wrongful death claims can reduce the financial impact of a tragedy on your family and also create some kind of culpability and accountability for any responsible driver who hurt someone.