Overall traffic related deaths are on the rise in the U.S. and one group in particular is becoming increasingly at risk of injury or death: namely, pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) show that while figures for 2014 showed a “0.1-percent decrease” in traffic related deaths from the previous year, estimates from the first six months of 2015 have shown an uptick in this number, “an 8.1 percent increase from the same period last year” to be exact. As part of this rise in traffic fatalities, is a steady increase in the number of pedestrians killed each year by motor vehicles.
When pedestrians are struck by vehicles, these accidents often occur when pedestrians are crossing at crosswalks. This can occur because drivers may fail to stop at red lights or other traffic signals and hit pedestrians who are already crossing the street. However, many Iowa pedestrian accidents take place when drivers make right or left turns at intersections or into other roadways. Often times, motorists are so focused on traffic coming from a certain direction that they fail to see a pedestrian crossing. Although less common, pedestrians are also at risk when crossing thoroughfares leading into and out of parking areas, in parking lots and when walking behind cars that are backing up.
According to the 2015 FARS report, there has been a 3.1 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths from the previous year and this trend is likely to continue warns the NHTSA. The steady increase in the number of overall traffic fatalities over the past few years, particularly among pedestrians, has served as a wake-up call to the U.S. Department of Transportation, who is “moving on many fronts to speed technology innovations that can save lives” (USDOT.gov). While certain groups that compose the yearly FARS report have remained fairly constant, such as the number of deaths each year caused by drunk driving, the rise in the number of pedestrian fatalities is a very real cause for concern because regardless of our preferred means of transportation, we are all pedestrians at some point in time. To ensure the safety of Iowans, addressing this issue is very important.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a pedestrian accident in Iowa, email or call the Des Moines personal injury law firm of John T. Hemminger for help at 515-283-2116. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, our attorneys provide knowledgeable and compassionate service for seriously injured clients and individuals who lost family members in wrongful death accidents.
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