After the COVID-19 pandemic began forcing people to make changes to their lives and daily routines, public safety experts were hopeful that roads throughout the United States would become safer. More people working from home and avoiding public activities would lead to reduced traffic on the roads, and it stood to reason that this would result in fewer traffic accidents. Unfortunately, the opposite has been true. In 2020, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents increased significantly from the previous year. While the full data from 2021 has not yet been released, preliminary data indicates that the rate of pedestrian deaths was even higher than in 2020. In many cases, drivers are at fault for accidents in which a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, and victims and their family members may be able to pursue financial compensation for their injuries and damages.
Reasons for the Rise in Pedestrian Injuries
Experts believe that there may be multiple factors that have contributed to the increase in pedestrian accidents. These include:
- Speeding – With fewer vehicles on the roads, some drivers have taken this as an indication that they can drive at faster speeds. Open roads have also tempted some people to engage in dangerous behaviors such as street racing. These issues have been even more of a problem in areas where police departments have scaled back their enforcement efforts in order to limit face-to-face contact during the pandemic.
- Aggressive driving and road rage – Many people have experienced increased levels of stress and anxiety because of the pandemic, leading them to be more angry and aggressive when behind the wheel. Those who have isolated themselves from others while focusing on preventing infections and illnesses may struggle to fully understand the risks they face while driving, and they may be unable to devote their full attention to driving as safely as possible.
- Substance abuse – Drug and alcohol use have increased over the past several years, leading to increased rates of drunk driving. As more states have legalized marijuana, people throughout the country have become more likely to drive while under the influence of this drug, which may lead them to take unnecessary risks and affect their ability to avoid collisions.
- Dangerous vehicles and roads – Over the past decade, around three out of every four new vehicles purchased are trucks, SUVs, or vans. While these vehicles can provide good protection for drivers and passengers, they are much more likely to inflict serious injuries when they collide with pedestrians. Roads and intersections may also be dangerous for pedestrians, especially if they do not have proper sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely or enough lighting to make sure drivers can see pedestrians at night.
Contact Our Green Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, and they often lead to the wrongful deaths of people who are struck by vehicles. Following this type of collision, it is important to gather evidence showing that a driver acted negligently. Our lawyers can act quickly to preserve this evidence while it is still available, and we may seek out footage of a collision from security or traffic cameras, take photos of the scene of an accident, get statements from witnesses, and obtain police reports or other records. To schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help with your case, contact our Appleton pedestrian injury attorneys at 920-739-7366.