An accident involving a pedestrian can be a traumatic occurrence for all involved. While just 11% of people travel on foot, pedestrians account for 13% of all vehicle-related fatalities. Most vulnerable are the elderly and children under the age of 15. They account for 27% of fatalities and 34% of injuries. While a driver is expected to maintain control of their vehicle at all times, many pedestrian accidents occur due to pedestrian accidents. One culprit is distraction. While distracted drivers are certainly a factor, in 8% of pedestrian accidents, the victim was using an electronic device at the time of the accident.
The New York Times reports that 2018 was the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists since 1990.
According to a report that was released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more pedestrians and cyclists were killed last year than in any year since 1990.
Last year, the number of pedestrians killed rose by 3.4% last year. Cyclist deaths also rose by 6.3%. Each day, about 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed, bringing them to account for 1/5 of all traffic deaths.
One possible culprit in the increase of these types of fatalities is that there are more large trucks and SUVs on the roads. While these vehicles are designed to keep passengers safer, pedestrians and cyclists become less visible.
Distracted driving is another possible cause for the increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths. About 10% of all fatal crashes involve a driver who is distracted. Pedestrians are also increasingly glued to cell phones, though it is unclear how often the pedestrian is at fault.
Urban areas are most affected, accounting for a rise of 69% of pedestrian accidents. Cyclist deaths in urban areas also rose by 48%. These increases outpaced population growth in urban areas, which the Census Bureau reports at 13% over 2008 to 2017.