The health crisis has led to many changes in North Carolina and across the United States. Among the problems that accompany such an unexpected series of challenges has been the rising danger on the road. Drivers have been taking advantage of less traffic to behave in reckless ways with speeding, distraction, driving under the influence and other potentially treacherous activities. Pedestrians, vulnerable to begin with, have been in greater jeopardy of being hit, injured and losing their lives. Even with the return to normalcy potentially on the way, pedestrians should be aware of the statistics and know how to address the long-term aftermath of a crash.
Research shows statistical spike in pedestrian fatalities in 2020
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) issued its report for fatal auto accidents in 2020. With the pandemic a factor, researchers were surprised that there was a rise in fatal collisions. Fewer people were on the road, but the number of deaths was higher than it had been in previous years. There were almost 3,000 pedestrian fatalities from January through June 2020. When calculated with the number of miles traveled, this was a 20% increase from 2019.
In North Carolina, there was an 11% rise in pedestrian deaths for the first six months of the year with 121. Certain states, including North Carolina, were far worse than others in danger to pedestrians. It was not solely the pandemic that caused the increase as the numbers have been growing steadily worse for the decade 2010 to 2019 with a 46% spike. Once the total number of pedestrian deaths for 2020 is calculated, it is expected to be the worst yearly increase in history. Age was a factor with almost 86% of pedestrian deaths through June being people 21 to 24. People of color also had a significantly higher chance of being in a pedestrian collision.
Long-term damage and death can result from an auto-pedestrian accident
Pedestrian accidents frequently occur when a person is crossing the street – even if they are in a crosswalk. However, it can happen anytime a person walks out his or her front door. Due to the lack of protection, there is a good chance that pedestrian-auto accidents will result in severe injuries with the need for care, medical costs, lost time on the job and issues at home. For families who lost a loved one, the aftermath can be emotionally wrenching with financial turmoil. Insurance companies will often try to make a lowball offer to avoid a legal claim. People should be cognizant of their rights and make sure to have professional advice to determine the wisest course of action from the start.