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Pedestrian accidents a growing problem as more people walking

Neighborhoods that allow easy access for pedestrians and pedestrian traffic are in demand. Although the trend promises to be good for people's health, it has caused increasing concerns for pedestrian safety. It was recently reported that approximately 2,125 pedestrians were killed during the first half of 2014. Moreover, pedestrian deaths have increased 15 percent since 2009.

In total, males account for 70 percent of pedestrian deaths. A number of pedestrian accidents occur when vehicles are pulled over to the side of the road or when pedestrians are distracted. Communities are encouraged to lower speeds in areas experiencing heavy foot traffic and other areas where pedestrians are likely to be such as neighborhoods with schools, parks, daycares and senior centers. Cities such as Seattle have reduced pedestrian accidents by controlling speeds in pedestrian-heavy areas. The reduction, however, does not mean that pedestrian accidents do not still occur.

It is important that drivers today are properly educated concerning pedestrian safety. Pedestrian accidents can result in long-term consequences for victims and damages including medical expenses, lost wages and emotional pain and suffering. Because the physical, financial and emotional toll resulting from a pedestrian accident can be serious, resources and options are available to assist pedestrian accident victims.

In circumstances when the pedestrian victim has been wrongfully harmed, such as when a pedestrian is lawfully in the roadway and is struck by a driver who may be distracted, the legal system can step in to help them and hold the negligent driver accountable.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "It's getting more dangerous to travel on foot," Mark Huffman, Aug. 10, 2015

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