Whether walking for joy, exercise or out of necessity, everyone on the sidewalk deserves to travel safely. Unfortunately, many people in Minnesota drive as if they only have to worry about other vehicles on the road with little to no regard for pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents have even risen sharply recently, putting many at risk for serious injuries or even death.
A shocking increase
In 2020, the number of pedestrian deaths in the United States shot up 21%. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association — GHSA — this is the largest ever recorded increase. Perhaps what is most upsetting about this is that this drastic increase occurred even as traffic fell significantly during that same year.
Why is walking getting more dangerous?
Pedestrian fatalities increased 53% from 2009 to 2019. During those same years, SUVs grew in popularity. SUVs are actually more likely to cause fatal injuries to pedestrians because of their weight, size and higher front end profile. Other contributing factors to pedestrian fatalities include:
- Distracted driving
- Increased reckless behavior
- Road rage
- Excessive speeding
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
While pedestrians can take extra safety precautions like wearing reflective clothing, using sidewalks where available and utilizing crosswalks where possible, there is not much they can do when faced with a negligent driver. Not everyone survives pedestrian accidents, either. Minnesota victims or families who have lost loved ones in such accidents often need help moving forward, which may take the form of pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.