Pedestrians should feel safe as they walk on the sidewalk and across the street; however, a recent report finds that pedestrian deaths and injuries are rising. The report, issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association, GHSA, indicates that pedestrian fatalities from auto accidents actually rose by 10 percent in 2015 over the previous year. The report reviews data for all states. Some states actually have more incidences of pedestrian fatalities than others. The information indicates that California, Florida, Texas, and New York account for about 42 percent of the reported accidents.
Why the Increase?
There are a number of reasons that could account for the increase in pedestrian accidents. One of the most important considerations is that more people are walking or biking to work than in the previous years. According to the statistics, about 3.3 million people walk to work and even more may walk as a partial means of getting to work. Also, pedestrians are more distracted than ever before. While drivers need to be responsible for ensuring they do not hit pedestrians, more and more people are taking part in what is being called “distracted walking.” They are using their cell phones and other devices and are not paying close attention to their surroundings.
South Carolina Addresses Pedestrian Safety
There are many ways that the state is working to improve pedestrian safety. The South Carolina Office of Highway Safety and the Highway Patrol, SCHP, have been working together for the last half-decade to provide information and programs to improve safety. The program called Stop, Educate, Enforce (SEE) is a campaign to educate drivers and pedestrians in important safety tips. Pedestrians must take care to cross streets safely and pay more attention while walking. A major ad campaign was utilized to remind people to look for pedestrians and bicyclists while driving.
Keeping Roads Safe
As more people are again taking to the sidewalks, it is important that roads be built and maintained to ensure pedestrian safety. Street lights need to be improved – many pedestrian accidents occur when it is dark outside. Sidewalks must be provided for all streets and attention must be made when placing crosswalks and traffic lights. Pedestrian crossing signs and lights should be used to help drivers pay attention. Reduced speed limits are helpful in areas where crosswalks are provided. Speed bumps and meridians allow better traffic control.
Of course pedestrian safety is of utmost importance, but unfortunately accidents do happen. Those who were injured because of the negligence of a driver may be entitled to compensation. Injuries associated with pedestrian accidents can be quite severe and often include broken bones as well as head and back injuries. Some injuries will require surgery and could require a long recovery period. Severe head injury victims may suffer permanent injuries. The result could be extremely high medical costs, ongoing treatment, and the inability to work. Victims may be able to recover medical costs, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering, among other things. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident contact a Kershaw County auto accident attorney at the Connell Law Firm to find out how to resolve your case.