Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reports an unsettling trend about a rapid increase in the number of wrongful deaths involving pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) just issued their latest report of traffic deaths, and sadly they note that the number of pedestrian wrongful deaths rose by almost ten percent last year. This surprising increase in pedestrian fatalities was the largest in nearly 20 years.
Last year over 5,300 pedestrians died after being struck by a car or truck, an increase of more than 500 from the prior year. This increase was greater than the percentage of all traffic/driver or passenger fatalities, which rose just more than seven percent. Incredibly, Fort Lauderdale was the 6th most dangerous city for pedestrian deaths. This rise in roadway wrongful deaths reversed an almost 10 year drop in the number of annual traffic related fatalities. In fact, 2014 saw a nearly 10,000 drop in deaths from just 8 years earlier. The rise in pedestrian deaths tied in with a similar rise in wrongful deaths of motorcycle and bicycle riders, of almost five percent over the past 10 years.
While government sponsored safety efforts and rapid increase in vehicle accident prevention technology, have had a beneficial effect upon vehicle occupants, by increasing seat-belt use and lowering the rate of drunk drivers, the same advances and efforts have ignored pedestrian safety.
With the economy continues to improve, the number of vehicles on the roadway, and the number of miles being driven are also on the rise; with last year showing more than a 3% increase in miles driven over the prior year.
The NHTSA has finally begun to focus on why pedestrian fatalities are increasing at a rate greater than other car accident related deaths. As the early data for next year’s study has already come in, and is showing another 10 percent rise in pedestrian fatalities, Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer Joseph Lipsky hopes the NHTSA and the cities of Fort Lauderdale, in particular, begin working sooner rather than later in installing pedestrian cross walks, waiting areas and extending the time pedestrians have to cross roadways.