Pedestrian fatalities have reached an alarming level, setting a new record of over 7,500 deaths nationwide, according to a recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) traffic safety study. The report highlights the pedestrian safety crisis on U.S. roads, emphasizing that all drivers share the responsibility of keeping pedestrians safe.
Colorado is not immune to this problem, and pedestrian accidents are a significant concern in the state. To address this issue and prevent further accidents, it is crucial to understand the contributing factors and take appropriate measures.
Pedestrian fatalities the highest since 1981
Every year, the GHSA conducts a comprehensive study on pedestrian accidents, analyzing data both nationwide and state by state. The latest report reveals that 2022 saw a staggering 7,508 pedestrian fatalities, marking the highest number of pedestrian deaths in a single year since 1981.
What's even more troubling is that this record-high death toll is not an isolated incident. Over the past decade, pedestrian fatalities have surged by a staggering 77 percent between 2010 and 2022, with a notable 19 percent increase between 2019 and 2022 alone, according to the GHSA's findings.
Pedestrian accidents in Colorado
In Colorado, there's both good news and bad news regarding pedestrian accidents. On the positive side, last year witnessed a decline in pedestrian deaths compared to the previous year. Specifically, there were 71 pedestrian fatalities in Colorado in 2022, a notable 19.3 percent decrease from the 88 deaths recorded in 2021, as reported by the GHSA.
However, this positive trend in 2022 should not overshadow the concerning long-term pattern. Over the past decade, pedestrian fatalities in Colorado have seen a steady increase, with a nearly continuous rise year after year. In 2021, there were 92 pedestrian fatalities in the state, compared to only 50 recorded in 2013. This indicates an 84 percent increase in pedestrian deaths between 2013 and 2021.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents
Pedestrian accidents frequently arise from various scenarios—such as getting hit in a crosswalk or while walking alongside the road—and are often the result of drivers' reckless or negligent behaviors. The GHSA has highlighted three primary causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Drunk drivers, accounting for 19 percent of pedestrian fatalities, continue to pose a significant hazard to all road users given their impaired judgment and reduced reaction times.
- Speeding drivers contribute to 8 percent of pedestrian deaths, as high speeds reduce a driver's ability to detect and respond to pedestrians in their vicinity, according to the GHSA's findings.
- Distracted drivers, particularly those engaged in texting while driving, are a major concern as they frequently fail to slow down, leading to collisions with pedestrians in crosswalks or along the roadside. This inattention to the road poses a significant threat to pedestrian safety.
How to prevent pedestrian accidents
Traffic safety experts have several suggestions for reducing the number of pedestrian accidents:
- Make crosswalks more visible by installing better lighting.
- Reduce speed limits in areas where pedestrian accidents have occurred.
- Improve road design so it considers the safety of pedestrians and other non-motorized road users.
- Add more information to driver education courses about the dangers pedestrians face on the road and the importance of sharing the road.
- Increase police enforcement to help prevent drunk driving, speeding, and texting while driving – all of which consistently cause the most pedestrian accidents.
Why should I hire a pedestrian accident attorney?
When it comes to claims involving pedestrian accidents, don't assume you'll receive fair compensation just because the driver who hit you was at fault. Remember, insurance companies are a business, and their main goal is to maximize their profits. This means they may try to minimize the amount they pay out in compensation, even if it's at the expense of your rightful recovery. Having a knowledgeable and experienced pedestrian accident lawyer on your side can level the playing field and ensure that your interests are protected.
At The Longo Firm, LLC, we are dedicated to providing personalized attention and support to each of our clients. Our goal is to help you recover physically, emotionally, and financially from your injuries. With our compassionate approach and aggressive representation, you can have peace of mind knowing that your case is in the right hands.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Colorado Springs or the surrounding areas, don't delay seeking legal representation. Contact The Longo Firm today to schedule your free case evaluation. Let us stand by your side and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.