Here’s something most Connecticut residents probably don’t know, and won’t be too happy to learn: Our state ranks in the top third in the U.S. in terms of pedestrian fatalities. According to data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), the number of fatal accidents involving pedestrians in Connecticut soared by 53-percent between 2017 and 2018.
This jump in pedestrian deaths is in line with national trends. The GHSA recorded a 35-percent increase in total pedestrian deaths in the US between 2008 and 2017, rising from 4,414 to 5,977 over that period. Pedestrian deaths have also been something of an anomaly in broader transportation safety trends. While pedestrian deaths rose by 35-percent, all other traffic-related deaths only increased by six-percent over the same timeframe.
Five states account for nearly half of all pedestrian deaths: California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Florida. Yet these states don’t necessarily have the highest rates of pedestrian deaths. Connecticut has fewer than 50 deaths each year, yet ranks 16th in pedestrian deaths when adjusted for population.
Factors in Increased Pedestrian Fatalities
It’s believed that pedestrian deaths are influenced by a wide range of factors. These include:
- Economic conditions
- How much people choose to walk in certain areas
- Traffic density
- Weather conditions
- Population growth
- Fuel prices
The rising popularity of SUVs and crossover vehicles has also had a significant impact. Compact cars, subcompacts and smaller sedans are less heavy than SUVs and crossovers, typically, and cause less damage to pedestrians. The number of fatal pedestrian accidents involving SUVs spiked 50-percent between 2013 and 2017.
Night driving and walking also play a role. Between 2008 and 2017, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents occurring at night increased by 45-percent.
Traffic experts also believe that the practice of distracted driving is one key factor in rising pedestrian deaths. Smartphone adoption has soared over the last decade. As more drivers check their phones while on the road — while piloting larger vehicles — the conditions are in place for devastating pedestrian accidents.
Finding the Right Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Few thoughts are more distressing than the idea of walking peacefully down a sidewalk and being struck, out of the blue, by a vehicle traveling at high speed. In many cases, pedestrians are utterly defenseless, which makes these collisions incredibly dangerous.
Unfortunately for local pedestrians, Connecticut ranks in the bottom third of US states in terms of sidewalk safety. However, if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident — or you have a loved one who has suffered an injury — a Connecticut pedestrian accident attorney can help you begin the recovery process.
Brickley Law is a customer-focused Connecticut law firm that fights for the rights of accident victims. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll work to ensure you are fairly compensated for all that you’ve suffered.