Less Cars on the Road Still Led to Increase in Pedestrian Deaths in 2020

According to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report released in May, there was a 21 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in 2020, despite fewer drivers on the road due to the COVID-19 quarantine period. Based on preliminary data from all 50 states and Washington D.C., the rate of 2020 deaths are at pace with the high 2019 rate. 

The data suggest that 6,721 pedestrians in the United States were killed in 2020, which is a 4.8-percent increase from 6,421 deaths in 2019. In Connecticut, there has been a 48-percent increase in pedestrian fatalities when comparing January through June in 2019 and the same period in 2020. 

The following are the common causes of the increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2020: 

  • Speeding and reckless driving – Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many employees to stay home and travel to stop, the roads were generally bare for several months. Unfortunately, the open roads allowed motorists to drive at higher speeds. When a speeding vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the results are either catastrophic or fatal. 

  • Distracted driving – Motorists also let their guard down while driving on open roads, causing them to look at their phones or give their attention to some other distraction. On the other hand, pedestrians are also guilty of using their phones while walking. Distracted driving and walking have led to pedestrian deaths. 

  • Light trucks and SUVs – In the last decade, GHSA has reported an increase in sales of light trucks and SUVs compared to passenger cars. Since these vehicles are larger with higher front ends, getting struck can result in devastating injuries. 

The report says most pedestrian deaths took place on arterial roads, meaning busy streets that consist of many businesses, from stores and shops to bars and restaurants. Although there was an increase in overall alcohol consumption last year, drunk driving was not a factor behind the rise in pedestrian deaths because people tended to drink at home, rather than at a bar or restaurant. 

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver in Hartford or Stratford, call Zayas Law Firm at (860) 278-0820 or fill out our online contact form today to request a free case review. Serving clients throughout Connecticut since 1990! 

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