Big cities in Washington are full of locals walking to work and tourists visiting popular landmarks. Even in suburbs and smaller cities, there are always kids walking to school, people walking through a parking lot or joggers on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, statistics show that all these pedestrians face an increasing risk of being struck by a car.
Pedestrian collisions on the rise
The Washington State Department of Transportation reports that pedestrian fatalities hit a shocking 20-year high in 2021. That year 592 pedestrians lost their lives after being struck by a motor vehicle. This amounts to a 26% uptick in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and a further 28% uptick in injuries pedestrians and bicyclists suffered after being struck by a car.
The majority of these fatalities took place at crosswalks and intersections.
Why are pedestrian accidents so common?
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are all too common in Washington. Pedestrians are present on almost all roads both day and night. They can sometimes be difficult for a motorist to see.
Still, motorists must practice pedestrian awareness, especially in areas such as crosswalks, schools and parks, or when visibility is lowered due to darkness or poor weather. If a driver is speeding, distracted or even daydreaming, they could easily miss seeing a pedestrian and strike them. Many pedestrian accidents also occur when a motorist fails to yield to the right of way of the pedestrian.
Addressing the uptick in pedestrian crashes
Washington is taking steps to address the increase in pedestrian fatalities. In addition to lowering speed limits, they are constructing roundabouts, speed bumps and raised intersections. Increased use of photo enforcement cameras is also in the works. Still, it remains to be seen if these safety measures will lower the number of pedestrian fatalities in Washington.
The medical costs, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other damages a pedestrian suffers if they are struck by a car can be astronomic. Some people even end up going into bankruptcy because they cannot afford their medical bills.
It is important that they pursue all avenues of compensation following the crash, including being compensated through a successful personal injury lawsuit.