Pedestrians in Honolulu, Hawaii, need to be on the lookout for negligent or downright reckless drivers. Sometimes, though, pedestrians are hurt no matter how vigilant they are, and many are killed. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, the number of pedestrian deaths has been steadily climbing since 2009.
Pedestrian deaths at a 30-year high
Using data from the first half of 2019, the GHSA conducted a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in that year. The organization estimates that there were 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in 2019: a 5% increase from the previous year and an alarming 60% increase from 2009. This is the highest the number has ever been since 1988. Between 1988 and 2009, the number was consistently declining.
You may be surprised to hear that Hawaii, along with New Mexico and Florida, had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in 2019. The lowest rates were in Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont.
As for the states that saw the most fatalities, they were California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. These five states, which together compose about a third of the country’s population, accounted for 47% of the pedestrian deaths.
Several reasons for the increase
The spike in pedestrian deaths has no equal. All other traffic deaths rose 2% between 2009 and 2018. There are several possible explanations for the trend, and the GHSA mentioned several. Warmer weather, for instance, is causing more people to go out, and advanced technology is leading to more phone use behind the wheel.
The prevalence of SUVs and light trucks on the road is another problem. These vehicles, by their very design, are more likely to leave pedestrians with severe or fatal injuries.
A lawyer for minor and severe injury cases
Pedestrian accidents, whether they involve an injury or a fatality, can become the subject of a claim. If you were following the traffic laws and were hit by a negligent driver, then you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other monetary and non-monetary losses. You may want a lawyer to evaluate your case.