According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. is the highest it has been in 28 years, with over 6,200 auto-pedestrian crash fatalities in 2018. This is significant, as many people in New Jersey prefer to walk to their destinations, rather than drive. Unfortunately, many times the streets are not safe for pedestrians.
Since 2008, the number of pedestrian fatalities has grown 35 percent. There are several possible reasons why this is happening. According to some, an increase in the popularity of SUVs and pick-up trucks has led to more auto-pedestrian accidents, as these vehicles’ high profile makes seeing pedestrians more difficult, and their large size means a collision will likely result in more damages than the same collision caused by a smaller vehicle would. Distracted driving in the form of cellphone use and drowsy driving can also contribute to the increase in pedestrian accidents.
However, when a pedestrian is killed after being struck by an automobile, his or her survivors will be facing the very difficult fact that they will have to find a way to move on without their loved one in their lives. If the crash is caused by a driver who breached their duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances, the victim’s survivors may want to pursue a wrongful death claim. Such a claim can be one way the loved ones of those killed in pedestrian accidents can be compensated for the financial losses they suffered, such as funeral costs, loss of companionship and loss of income.
Ultimately, it is up to motorists to make sure they are aware of pedestrians in their vicinity. Too many pedestrians are losing their lives in accidents that could have been prevented. When a pedestrian is killed in a crash caused by a negligent driver, a wrongful death claim can help the victim’s survivors obtain the financial resources they need as they move forward with their lives.