In Ohio and across the United States, pedestrians are vulnerable to being injured or losing their lives in an auto accident. Researchers and statistics indicate that the problem is growing worse. People who have been injured or lost a loved one in this type of crash should be cognizant of what steps to take to file a claim for compensation.

In a recently released report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian deaths in 2019 auto accidents were the highest they have been in three decades. The number of fatalities for 2019 increased by 5% when compared to 2018. In total, 6,590 pedestrians died. The data is incomplete as it is only for the first half of the year. Some states have a higher rate of pedestrian fatalities than others, but the concern is nationwide.

For the preceding decade, there was a worrisome growth in these accidents and deaths. There were slightly more than 4,100 in 2009. By 2018 – the last year in which full data is available – there was a rise of 53%. The GHSA has calculated that in 2019, there could have been nearly 6,600 pedestrian fatalities by the time all the numbers are counted. That is an increase of 60%.

It should be noted that the Federal Highway Administration reported the amount of travel by motor vehicle across the U.S. rose by 0.8% for the first half of 2019 when compared to the same time-period the previous year. This could impact at least part of the rise in pedestrian accidents. The GHSA speculates that the problem stems from multiple factors including more people driving SUVs and light trucks, better weather, and more people using their cellphones when driving. Other studies have shown that SUVs and light trucks have a higher incidence of pedestrian accidents and fatalities than smaller vehicles. Nearly half of the new vehicle sales in the U.S. were these SUVs and light trucks.

A pedestrian accident can cause significant problems in a person’s life and the lives of their loved ones. Medical costs, lost income, loss of companionship and extensive problems can result from personal injury. If there is a fatality, the family will need to think about funeral costs and the emotional impact from an unexpected and unnecessary occurrence. A law firm experienced in motor vehicle accidents may help with a lawsuit.