Auto accidents are a constant danger on the Missouri roadways. Drivers who are distracted, under the influence, drowsy, reckless or negligent can spark a crash. Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable to injuries and death in a collision. Pedestrian accidents are again on the rise with lawmakers and law enforcement concerned about how to prevent them. According to recent statistics, the numbers for pedestrian deaths are the worst they have been in years.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says there were 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019. This was part of an incremental rise that has been ongoing since 2009 and resulted in 60% more fatalities than a decade before. Even more worrisome is that there was a comparatively small rise in other traffic fatalities of 2% from 2009 to 2019. These numbers are preliminary and are for the first six months of 2019. Still, if they hold, there will have been a 5% increase from 2018. That is the most pedestrian fatalities since 1988.
Factors in this rise is pedestrian accidents include drivers who are distracted by their cell phones and the increase in popularity of SUVs. Studies show that people who are hit by an SUV are more prone to fatal injuries when compared to smaller vehicles. SUVs are categorized as light trucks. These vehicles comprised nearly half of new auto sales in 2009. By 2018, that had grown to 69%. Pedestrians hit by an SUV are at double the risk of a fatality as those hit by a car.
Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain trauma and various other injuries can result when a pedestrian is hit by a car. This inevitably results in hospitalizations, surgical procedures, rehabilitation and the chance of permanent damage. Financial, personal and professional ramifications can result. If the accident is fatal, the family left behind must think about these same issues but also deal with the unexpected loss of a loved one. Being compensated for all that was lost might require a legal filing. Consulting with experienced legal professionals who understand how to investigate pedestrian accidents may be helpful.