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3 factors that are contributing to a surge in pedestrian crashes

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Car Accidents

Pedestrians who travel in close proximity to motor vehicles have always had to accept a degree of risk stemming from that decision. The human body is not capable of withstanding the force of impact even when a vehicle travels at relatively low speeds.

Research indicates that pedestrian crash rates have recently hit a 40-year high, and there is no immediate indicator of that trend reversing anytime soon. There are many factors that add to the overall risk of a vehicle striking a pedestrian. The three issues below help to explain why pedestrian crash rates are higher now than in decades prior.

Increasing vehicle sizes

The trend toward bigger vehicles is a boon for the safety of vehicle occupants. Those traveling in motor vehicles are often safer when the vehicles themselves are larger. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for the people outside of the vehicle. Those in smaller vehicles, on bicycles or on foot are at substantially elevated risk of severe injury or death when a larger vehicle like an SUV or pickup truck causes a crash.

Reduced pedestrian attention

Distraction is a known safety risk for motorists, and people know that sending a text is likely to increase their chances of causing a serious wreck. However, pedestrians may not stop to consider how their distraction might lead to a preventable collision. People think nothing of playing mobile games, scrolling through social media or texting while walking. Pedestrians who do not monitor their surroundings, especially at busy intersections or in parking lots, could potentially step in front of a vehicle with tragic consequences.

Increased risky driving behaviors

The last few years have seen a concerning increase in behaviors that drivers know are dangerous. More people now text at the wheel, roll through red lights without fully stopping and drive after drinking than just a few years ago. That increase in unsafe traffic conduct can have a disproportionate impact on those walking or jogging as opposed to other motorists.

Those affected by pedestrian collisions often need to file insurance claims or possibly even personal injury lawsuits due to the major expenses generated by an incident. Recognizing the factors that contribute to someone’s overall collision risk might help that person stay safer on the streets.


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