The Department of Transportation has been keeping data on how many pedestrians are killed by automobiles since 1975, and the early numbers were terrible. In fact, the year with the most pedestrian fatalities since they started tracking, was 1979 with 8,000 pedestrians being killed by cars that year alone.
By 2009 that number had been cut in half to 4,000, due in large part to the work done by activists urging government officials to lower speed limits, create safer conditions for pedestrians and more aggressively pursue intoxicated drivers.
But since 2010 the rates of pedestrians in fatal accidents with cars has been on a steady rise and it looks like the possible culprit is exactly what you’d think it is: distracted driving caused by smartphones.
Numerous Factors Affect Pedestrian Fatality Rates
There are a number of factors that researchers have determined play a part in affecting pedestrian accident rates. For instance, advancements in car design, the time of day, demographics such as age, the time of year and many other factors are taken into consideration when researchers try to isolate trends from data.
The economy has also been determined to be a very big factor. When the economy is bad, people are more inclined to stay home. If you don’t have a job to go to, and you don’t have money to go out with, you tend to stay home more often. And that is borne out by the fact that when the economy is good, the rate of fatal pedestrian accidents tends to go up.
But the recent improvements in the US economy doesn’t explain just how rapidly fatal pedestrian accident rates have gone up. In 2016, there were 6,000 fatal pedestrian accidents, a 50% increase over the historic low of 4,000, in just seven years.
Many More People Have Smartphones Now
One factor that does help explain the increase in pedestrian fatalities is the increased adoption of smartphones. In 2010, there were only 62.6 million smartphone users in the United States. In 2019, there were 265.9 million smartphone users. That’s an increase of almost 325%. For the same time period, there was a 400% increase in annual wireless data use. The correlation doesn’t prove a causal relationship of course, but it is an interesting coincidence.
The fact is, it’s hard to find 100% conclusive evidence for a variety of reasons. Typically in fatal pedestrian accidents, only one perspective of the accident gets told, the perspective of the still-living driver. That’s only half the story of what happened.
It’s also very hard to pinpoint the exact moment an accident happened, and without that information, even when police can check the phone records of the driver involved, it’s impossible to know whether or not the driver was distracted at the exact time of the collision.
Regardless, the vast majority of us acknowledge the dangers of distracted driving, even if 40% of us stil admit to having texted while driving, despite knowing the dangers.
As autonomous vehicles are more widely adopted, and smartphone makers develop new ways to keep drivers from driving distracted, and as a new generation of activists help push government officials to create safer environments for pedestrians, we’ll eventually bring these current high rates down.
In the meantime, don’t drive distracted, pay attention to the road and not your phone. You’ll help keep yourself and those around safe.
Contact our Family-Run Personal Injury Law Firm
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it is important to contact an experienced Lakewood attorney immediately. Proving that a driver was distracted at the time of the accident isn’t easy. However, having an experienced law firm on your side every step of the way can drastically improve your chances of collecting the money you need to fully recover.
Call the Lakewood accident attorneys at Paysinger Law, P.C. today. Our family-run personal injury law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221 or by filling out the contact form on this page. See the difference family makes at Paysinger Law, P.C.
What Our Clients Say About us
See the difference family makes at Paysinger Law.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I think you did a great job! I will definitely pass your name along to anyone I know who’s hurt for the free consultation.
I don’t know where I would be without the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger. It was a very emotional experience, and I feel as if I owe Mr. Paysinger my life! The other lawyers would promise everything, but it was only here that I felt his integrity and willingness to live up to his word. He and the paralegals were so incredibly helpful throughout the strenuous process of my case. Going through a lawsuit is an emotional roller coaster, but whenever I was confused they would sit and explain everything in terms that I could understand. They provided an emotional support and treated me like family. It’s never about the money there, but about you, if you are upset they will do everything to help you, and work extremely hard for you. They are extremely honest and straight forward. I would recommend Mr. Paysinger to everyone, because they truly and genuinely care about you.
At the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger, I was very pleased with the professionalism and courteousness of everyone who worked on my case. I had a horrible experience with my boss and dealing with my company regarding my workman’s comp. I came to the Paysinger Law Offices and received a settlement for what was needed to further my medical care so that I can heal and get back to work. He defended my rights when they were violated and I am very happy with the results! Thank you!
I, James Pacho, appreciate everything that the Law Offices of Robert Paysinger, PC. For the help of making me get the amount of money I received including reducing my hospital bills, helping to get me a home.
James E. Pacho
Thanks to Robert Paysinger and Thomas Quinn for the hard work with my case. You guys are excellent and I will recommend you to everybody else. Keep doing an excellent job.
Thank you so much for all the hard work to Robert and his staff. I was very happy with all their services.
Thanks, Robert, for all the help with my accidents (both of them). You always promptly returned my calls and were extremely helpful whenever I had questions. After my motorcycle accident, you helped me understand how to better protect myself in the future, and because of that when I got in my car accident a year later, you were the only person I considered calling.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
Fill out the form below and an attorney will contact you regarding your case within 24 hours.