Over the last year, pedestrian fatalities have increased all over the nation, including in New Jersey. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), more than 20 pedestrians suffered fatalities in motor vehicle accidents daily in the U.S. in 2021.
Overall traffic death increase in 2021
Projections indicate that potentially 7,485 pedestrians suffered fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2021, an increase of 11.5% from the previous year. The GHSA isn’t the only agency reporting increased accidents as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has noted that U.S. traffic deaths jumped 10.5%. In 2021, 42,915 people died in traffic accidents, the highest number since 2005. This one-year increase is the largest since the NHTSA began tracking motor vehicle accident statistics in 1975.
High speeds played a significant role in vehicle-to-vehicle accidents and those involving pedestrians. Impaired and distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors also played a role. In addition, the number of pedestrian accidents involving children ages 15 and under doubled over the last three years.
The NHTSA study also states that the United States currently has a traffic accident emergency on its hands. In January 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a strategy to help combat the increase in traffic fatalities. Many drivers felt that police were less like to make traffic stops during the last several years, leading to risky behavior.
Protecting pedestrians and bicyclists
Pedestrians and bicyclists are more vulnerable than others in motor vehicle accidents as they don’t have the advantage of a vehicle offering some protection. Therefore their injuries are often more pronounced and may result in death more easily.
Whenever a pedestrian or bicyclist is involved in a motor vehicle accident that is caused by the negligence of others, they are entitled to compensation under the law for their injuries and suffering. The families of pedestrians who die in accidents are also entitled to compensation. If you have evidence that your loved one died from the negligence of one or more drivers, you may be able to file a lawsuit in court on behalf of the deceased person.