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You were walking around Lakewood, Colorado, when you were struck by a negligent driver. Though you may have suffered serious injuries, it’s fortunate that you survived as many pedestrian accidents end in fatality.

In fact, the number of pedestrian deaths in this country, after seeing a decline beginning in 1988, has been steadily climbing since 2009. The Governors Highway Safety Administration made a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in 2019 and found that pedestrian fatalities may have reached a 30-year high that year.

Results of the GHSA analysis

Compared to 2009, during which 4,109 pedestrians died, 2019 may have seen a total of 6,590 pedestrian deaths. That’s a 60% jump in one decade as well as a 5% increase from 2018. Compared to this, all other traffic deaths rose 2% from 2009 to 2018.

New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida saw the highest fatality rate per 100,000 people while Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont saw the lowest. The majority (47%) of fatalities arose in five states that, together, compose about one third of the U.S. population: California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

Reasons for the high numbers

The GHSA only had data spanning the first six months of 2019, but its results are still startling. The report gives some possible explanations for this continual spike in pedestrian fatalities, some of them being the warmer weather and the increasing number of people who use their phones behind the wheel.

Another factor is the growing number of SUVs and light trucks on the road. In 2009, these vehicles made up 48% of all new vehicle sales. In 2019, though, they made up 69% of them. According to the GHSA, pedestrians double their risk of dying in a collision with a large SUV compared to a collision with an ordinary car.

A lawyer to educate you on your options

In many pedestrian accidents, both pedestrians and drivers partially at fault, which can affect the chances of pedestrians filing a successful claim. You’re probably wondering if you can pursue a claim yourself, in which case you may want a lawyer to evaluate the situation and tell you how you can move forward.