A Proven Leader In Montana Personal Injury Law

Why have pedestrian crashes been on the rise in recent years?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Medical professionals recommend walking as a form of daily exercise. For years, the idea that people need 10,000 steps a day as a baseline for good health has influenced exercise and transportation habits. Even if the number of steps that are optimal for health may vary depending on the circumstance, walking is generally a healthy and free form of transportation.

Unfortunately, pedestrians often have to cross paths with motor vehicles, which puts them at risk of injury. Whether someone jogs on the shoulder of a rural road or crosses busy urban intersections at pedestrian crosswalks, they could potentially end up hurt by a motor vehicle. Even those running errands at the local grocery shop could end up injured by a dangerous or distracted driver.

A recent analysis of pedestrian crashes and fatalities revealed that the rates of such collisions recently reached a four-decade high. What has caused the increase in pedestrian crashes?

An uptick in dangerous driving behavior

One of the most alarming changes in traffic in recent years has been the tendency toward dangerous behavior. More drivers in the last few years admit to doing things they know are unsafe. People are more likely to speed, drive while drunk, text while driving or roll through red lights now than they were a few years ago. All of those poor traffic choices can lead to an increased likelihood of a collision with a pedestrian.

An increase in vehicle size

Those buying vehicles have begun to heavily favor larger styles and designs. SUVs, minivans, pickup trucks and crossovers are consistently among the most popular vehicles, whereas smaller vehicles once dominated the market. Bigger vehicles make pedestrian crashes more dangerous even at lower speeds. They also give drivers a false sense of confidence that can affect how safe they are in traffic. Taller vehicles and those with smaller windshields, which is another modern design trend, also have larger blind spots where drivers may fail to notice pedestrians.

Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles may need to file insurance claims. Sadly, the injuries that incur could cost far more than the insurance policy that applies may pay. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary in cases where pedestrians suffer significant injuries or families lose loved ones as a result of another’s negligence.