It could be that you were injured while taking a walk in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pedestrian accidents are becoming more prevalent, and this is partially due to certain unsafe driving behaviors.

Pedestrian deaths have been on the rise since 2009. The Governors Highway Safety Administration analyzed pedestrian deaths in 2019 and discovered, based on data spanning the first half of that year, that pedestrian fatalities continue to increase.

30-year high in pedestrian deaths

The GHSA estimated that 6,590 pedestrians died in 2019, which is 5% more than in 2019 and a startling 60% more than in 2009. This is the highest that the number has been since 1988.

You may be surprised to hear that New Mexico had one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates per 100,000 vehicles in 2019. Only Hawaii and Florida equaled it. As for the lowest rates, they were found in Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont. Forty-seven percent of the deaths transpired in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

More distracted drivers and SUVs on the road

The GHSA states that more drivers are allowing themselves to be distracted by their phones and that this may be partly to blame for the trend in pedestrian deaths. Warmer weather also means that more people are on the road or sidewalk, and this makes accidents more likely.

In 2019, 69% of all new vehicle sales were light trucks, including SUVs. By contrast, these vehicles composed 48% of new vehicle sales in 2009. The GHSA points out that large SUVs, in particular, are twice as likely as an ordinary car is to kill a pedestrian in a crash. Because of the way these vehicles are designed, pedestrians who are struck by them usually incur more head and neck injuries.

Legal representation in and out of court

Innocent victims of pedestrian accidents are entitled to compensation for their injuries, but filing a claim to receive this compensation can be a complicated process. You may want a lawyer to represent you at the negotiation table or, if a settlement cannot be reached, in the courtroom.