In New Jersey and the rest of the U.S., the number of pedestrians being killed has been going up since 2009. The Governors Highway Safety Administration, looking at the traffic fatality data spanning the first half of 2019, has found that this year did not prove to be an exception. According to its preliminary estimate, 6,590 pedestrians died in 2019: the highest the number has been since 1988.
This number represents a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% jump from the 4,109 who died in 2009. Yet all other traffic deaths saw a relatively minor increase of 2% between 2009 and 2018. The GHSA detailed the possible reasons for these trends in its report. First of all, vehicle safety has improved, leading to a less drastic rise in other traffic fatalities.
At the same time, more drivers are using phones, which affects the safety of all road users. Affecting pedestrians in particular is the fact that there are more SUVs and light trucks on the road. They constituted 69% of all new vehicle sales in 2019, compared to 48% in 2009, and these vehicles are known to leave pedestrians with more serious injuries.
Fatality rates varied from state to state, naturally. The highest were in Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii while the lowest were in Vermont, Wisconsin and Idaho.
Pedestrians may follow the traffic laws and still be struck because of a negligent driver. In those cases, there can be good grounds for a personal injury claim. Victims of pedestrian accidents may want a lawyer to help them with the claim, especially with the gathering of evidence and the negotiating of the settlement. If a settlement covering all losses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, cannot be achieved, the lawyer may litigate.