Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable people in a traffic accident. Without the protection of a car, airbags or seatbelts, people on foot can suffer catastrophic injuries if they are hit by a motor vehicle.
Unfortunately, the threat to pedestrians’ safety is not getting any better. In fact, according to recent statistics, for the second year in a row, about 6,000 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents. And according to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are at least a couple troubling trends that could be contributing to the high rate of pedestrian accidents.
Use of marijuana
In recent years, there has been growing acceptance of marijuana use across the U.S. In Ohio, for instance, the penalties for marijuana crimes are less severe than they are in other states, and medical marijuana is legal. Sources from the GHSA believe that relaxed laws and penalties could be contributing to a rise in marijuana-related driving and pedestrian accidents.
Distractions on the road
People are more dependent on their phones than ever before. We use them for finding directions, making reservations, contacting friends and taking pictures. Many people don’t go more than an hour or two without checking their phones. This increased dependence and functionality of our phones is likely contributing to increased distraction on the road for both pedestrians and motorists when people cannot put their phones away.
Other trends that may be contributing to pedestrian accidents
In recent years, the technology in our cars and trucks has gotten much more sophisticated. However, people may rely too much on things inside the vehicle, like warning lights or cameras, and not enough on their own observations. If these technological features malfunction or are confusing, they might wind up causing an accident instead of stopping one.
While these trends might be exciting and enjoyable away from the task of driving, they can be very dangerous when it comes to traffic safety. As such, is up to individuals to avoid things like drug use and distraction behind the wheel.
When drivers or other parties fail to do this, they put other people’s lives in danger. These negligent parties can and should be accountable for the damages they cause in a serious accident involving pedestrians.