Rhode Island Personal Injury: More Pedestrians in the United States are Dying Than in Past 30 Years


At some point of the day, almost everyone is a pedestrian – and these pedestrian accidents and fatalities are unfortunately at an all-time high. The Wall Street Journal recently released an article stating that American pedestrian deaths rose in 2019 to their highest level in 30 years – even when the roadway crash fatalities have decreased.

An estimated total of 6,590 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents last year, which was approximately a 5% increase from the 6,283 deaths in 2018. “It’s a continuation of a very bad pattern. It is news that we don’t want to hear, but it keeps coming at us,” safety researcher and writer of the analysis, Richard Retting, stated.

Possible factors for the increase of deaths all point to smartphone-related distractions by drivers and pedestrians, inadequate road lighting, and crossing mechanisms. Other factors include the number of SUVs, alcohol or other drug impairment by both drivers and pedestrians. The number of smartphone use nationwide has increased more than 400% between 2009 and 2018 – making this the most likely cause of increased fatalities.

The number of pedestrian deaths has risen more than 50% from 4,109 in 2009 through 2018, but the total number of all other types of crashes has increased only 2% in that time period. Overall crash deaths in the United States dropped by approximately 3.4% in the first half of 2019 from the first half of 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About 60% of pedestrians died on busier multi-lane roads (non-freeway arterials) and midblock crosswalks rather than at intersections. Retting suggests that municipalities install more tools that let pedestrians and cyclists activate a red light to stop vehicle traffic, as well as better roadway lighting.

Pedestrian Accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

The amount of pedestrian deaths in the United States might have increased, but in Rhode Island, the amount of deaths has actually decreased since 2016. In 2016, Rhode Island reported 14 pedestrian fatalities, where 2019 only reported 5 deaths. In Massachusetts, the number rose from 35 in 2017 to 28 in 2018.

When Rhode Island noticed the increase of pedestrian fatalities – the RIDOT immediately took steps to protect the citizens. More funding for law enforcement to direct patrols were provided, as well as public service advertisements and more lighting on the roads were installed.

Regardless of how a pedestrian accident occurred, our legal team at the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC has experience helping injured pedestrians achieve the justice they deserve against the distracted drivers who caused their personal injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured from a pedestrian accident, we are here 24/7 and are ready to fight for your rights!

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