Collisions between individuals and motor vehicles often have tragic outcomes. The human body cannot withstand the force of impact from a vehicle. Even at low speeds, a pedestrian crash will usually knock someone down, possibly resulting in broken bones or brain injuries. At higher speeds, such crashes often prove fatal.
Although pedestrian collisions only account for a tiny fraction of the crashes that take place every year, they cause a significant number of injuries and traffic fatalities. Such collisions have always been a concern, but the potential for injury seems to have increased in recent years.
Pedestrian deaths have increased sharply in the last 3 years
According to data from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department pedestrian crash risk is higher than ever. 2022 saw a major uptick in pedestrian deaths. Every year, police departments track the number of deadly collisions that occur to better guide enforcement practices and policy-making efforts.
With 32 deaths, 2020 was the deadliest year for pedestrians in nearly two decades, and 2021 also saw higher rates than many previous years. By the fall of 2022, the total number of deadly collisions had already exceeded the number of pedestrian fatalities for all of 2021. 2022 surpassed the number of traffic deaths in 2020, with a total of 40 pedestrian fatalities.
How people can protect themselves from tragedy
Both motorists and pedestrians can help reduce how many of these crashes occur by making safety a top priority on the roads. There are many potential reasons for the recent increase in pedestrian traffic deaths, including a notable surge in distracted driving in recent years. Alcohol impairment and fatigue can also increase the likelihood of a driver making a mistake with dire consequences for a nearby pedestrian.
Many of the worst pedestrian crashes occur on roads with high speed limits, but residential neighborhoods see their fair share of such crashes. Additionally, parking lots are also the location of many serious pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Anyone on foot near moving or parked vehicles could potentially be at risk of getting struck by a driver. Those who pay close attention to their surroundings may reduce their risk of getting hit, but they can’t eliminate it.
Pursuing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is often necessary for those injured in a pedestrian crash or who lose a loved one because of a collision.