Pedestrian Fatalities Up In 2016
Preliminary data in a report released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated an 11% increase of pedestrian fatalities in 2016 and a 22% increase over 2014. It has been more than twenty years since the statistics have reached an elevation of this magnitude. Transportation consultants to the GHSA, Richard Retting and Sam Schwartz, offered sound recommendations to reduce pedestrian fatalities:
- Separate pedestrians from motor vehicles by creating more sidewalks and islands;
- Create highly visible crosswalks and increase driver awareness using flashing beacons;
- Engineer roads for the purpose of reducing speeds, i.e. speed bumps, roundabouts, special lanes for bicycles and pedestrians and the employment of cameras for enforcement; and
- Educate the public about the duty of care owed by all motorists
Download the full report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State.
Why are pedestrian fatalities up? Theories from Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State 2016
- Annual wireless data usage has more than doubled from 2015 to 2016; the use of smart phones by both drivers and pedestrians may be a contributing factor in the rise of pedestrian deaths;
- The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has shown an increase in vehicular traffic up 3.3% in the first half of 2016; and
- The economy, weather and fuel prices may influence the numbers of pedestrians.
How are the families of fatally injured pedestrians compensated?
In most states, including Indiana, the family’s wrongful death attorney will open an estate for the deceased. This procedure grants the personal representative(s) the authority to legally represent the plaintiff(s) in a wrongful death claim filed by attorneys against the insurance policy of the driver(s), person(s) or entity(ies) responsible for the loss of life. If the limits of the defendant(s) policy are insufficient to compensate the claimant(s) adequately for their damages and loss of life, their attorney may make a claim for excess damages against the decedent’s uninsured/underinsured (UIM) policy. If the defendant is uninsured, plaintiffs’ attorneys will seek compensation from the decedent’s uninsured motorist coverage.