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In a preliminary analysis made by the Governors Highway Safety Administration, it was estimated that 6,590 pedestrians were killed in 2019. Of the number is accurate, it represents a 5% increase from 2018 and a startling 60% jump from 2009. Colorado residents should know that trends like this are prompting many areas in the U.S. to adopt Vision Zero programs: safety initiatives aimed at reducing pedestrian fatalities to zero in the future.

Forty-seven percent of these pedestrian fatalities were in five states: California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. It should be noted that these states hold 33% of the U.S. population. The highest pedestrian fatality rates (per 100,000 people) were found in New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida. Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont had the lowest.

As for why more and more pedestrians are being killed on the nation’s roads, several explanations are possible. Warmer weather has led to more pedestrians, for instance. There are also a greater number of light trucks and SUVs. Pedestrians struck by these vehicles are more likely to die since the vehicles’ designs frequently lead to injuries to the head and neck. The increase in phone use among drivers is another factor.

Other traffic deaths have remained at a steady rate. Better vehicle safety has led to non-pedestrian traffic deaths rising only 2% in the last decade.

Many pedestrian accidents are the fault of drivers, but not always. Pedestrians who were injured and who are not to blame have good reason to file a claim against the driver’s auto insurance company, but even when there is clear evidence of the other’s negligence, they may find it hard to achieve a settlement. This is where legal representation may come into play. A lawyer may negotiate on victims’ behalf and take the case to court as a last resort.