Pedestrian death rates in motor vehicle accidents are the highest they have been in 30 years. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 6,283 pedestrians died in traffic collisions in 2018, alongside other troubling data.

The study revealed that men are twice as likely to die in a pedestrian crash than women. The study also discovered significant racial and ethnic biases — American Indians incur the highest death rate, followed by blacks, Hispanics, and then whites.

Consistent findings across studies

Additional research provides even more troubling data. The Journal of Transport & Health examined two crosswalks in Las Vegas, outfitting four different volunteers to serve as pedestrian test subjects. The volunteers would each use the same body language and eye contact to communicate a desire to cross the road with oncoming drivers. The test hinged upon whether these prompted vehicles yielded to the pedestrian. Of the 461 cars examined, the Journal discovered:

  • Infrequent yielding: Only 28% of vehicles yielded to signaling pedestrians.
  • Gender plays a role: Drivers yielded for women 31% of the time, compared to only 24% for men.
  • Demonstrable race bias: Cars yielded to the white volunteers 7% more often than the black volunteers.
  • Expensive cars yield costly results: For every $1,000 increase in the value of a tested vehicle (based on Kelly Blue Book numbers), the driver was 3% less likely to give way to a pedestrian.

Drivers take care

As important as it is for pedestrians to practice proper safety while walking along roadways, it is primarily on drivers to prevent these deaths. There are very few situations where a pedestrian is responsible for a motor vehicle accident, and the resulting legal cases could have devastating consequences for drivers.

Those hurt in motor vehicle accidents have found success by securing the services of a lawyer familiar with automotive personal injury cases. For those families mourning the deaths of loved ones killed by a driver, a lawyer may help secure due restitution and justice for the victims.