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Pedestrians can be injured at alarming rates in and around Lakewood, Colorado, and some of those incidents are fatal. Nationwide, there has been a steady increase in pedestrian fatalities since 2009, and 2019, for which complete data is not available, appears to be no exception.

2019 pedestrian deaths estimated at 6,590

The Governors Highway Safety Administration has used this incomplete data to determine the number of traffic deaths in 2019. It estimates that 6,590 pedestrians died that year, which is 5% more than in the previous year. Shockingly, it’s 60% higher than the 4,109 who died in 2009 and the highest number since 1988. By contrast, all other traffic deaths rose 2% between 2009 and 2019.

California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida, which together compose nearly one third of the U.S. population, accounted for 47% of the fatalities in 2019. The highest pedestrian fatality rates, rather than numbers, were found in Florida, New Mexico and Hawaii; the lowest were in Wisconsin, Vermont and Idaho.

More SUVs and distracted drivers on the road

Pedestrian deaths are increasing for several reasons. The GHSA report states, for instance, that SUVs and light trucks are growing in popularity. Whereas light trucks made up 48% of new vehicle sales in 2009, the percentage was 69% in 2019. Pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed in a collision with a large SUV than with an ordinary car.

In addition, there are more ways for drivers to be distracted, especially on their phones. Warmer weather may also be bringing out more people for a drive or for a walk.

Legal assistance with a wrongful death lawsuit

Perhaps a loved one was struck and killed by a negligent driver. The driver may have been distracted or breaking traffic laws in some other way. You may pursue a wrongful death case against the driver’s auto insurance company, but this can be a trying thing to do alone. A lawyer may be able to help you achieve a settlement that covers pre-death medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of support and more.