Pedestrian deaths are all too common in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. Moreover, their numbers, after declining for two decades, have been steadily climbing since 2009. In a preliminary study of traffic deaths in 2019, the Governors Highway Safety Administration estimates that 6,590 pedestrians were killed that year: 5% more than in 2018 and a startling 60% more than in 2009.
The GHSA found the highest numbers in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. Forty-seven percent of pedestrian deaths took place in these five states, which together make up one third of the U.S. population. Florida also had, along with New Mexico and Hawaii, one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. The lowest rates were in Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont.
Between 2009 and 2018, all traffic deaths apart from pedestrian deaths saw a 2% increase overall. The reasons why pedestrian deaths have been spiking are many, and the GHSA gives several. For example, warmer weather is leading more people to go outdoors. Advances in technology are causing more drivers to become distracted behind the wheel, especially by their phones. Another reason is the growing number of SUVs and light trucks on the road. Due to their design, large SUVs are twice as likely as cars to kill a pedestrian in a crash.
When pedestrian accidents involve an injury, then victims may be able to file a claim. It all depends on the driver’s and pedestrian’s degree of fault. If a pedestrian dies at the hands of a negligent driver, then the family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In either case, having a lawyer may be advisable.