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Was 2020 an exceptionally dangerous year for pedestrians?

| Jul 8, 2021 | Pedestrian Accidents

2020 saw California and other U.S. states go through many changes. The year saw radical changes in people’s lifestyles and behaviors, and driving habits changed dramatically. Fewer people traveled in their vehicles in 2020, leading to an unexpected and tragic result: shockingly, pedestrian death figures increased during the year.

Fewer drivers led to more pedestrian accidents

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a decrease in drivers led to more pedestrian accidents. The precise figures are frightening, as more than 6,500 pedestrians died. The figure represents the highest number of GHSA-recorded deaths since 1989. The figure reveals a massive 21% increase from 2019, leading some to wonder if the figures will continue to track upwards.

People drove less in 2020 for several reasons. Lockdowns and closed businesses impact travel and commuting. Work-at-home jobs mean a smaller pool of people going to and from their jobs. Unfortunately, fewer cars don’t automatically mean safer roads.

With fewer vehicles on streets and highways, some drivers may start ignoring basic safety rules. Speeding becomes easier when lanes are open, and committing moving violations more frequently might come without consequences.

Then, one day, a driver making an unsafe turn at an intersection hits a pedestrian. A wrongful death suit follows, a sad result typical after many potentially avoidable pedestrian accidents.

Worries about accidents

Pedestrians should feel concerned about possible accidents when out walking. Nighttime strolls may come with great risks, as does crossing busy intersections. Don’t assume accidents can’t happen on residential streets, as even areas with reduced traffic come with hazards. Intoxicated and distracted drivers won’t necessarily limit themselves to particular areas.

Anyone hurt in a motor vehicle accident could seek a consultation with an attorney. The attorney might help the victim with filing an insurance claim.