On a beautiful day, you may feel compelled to lace up your shoes and go for a walk. On the other hand, maybe you need a few things from the store, and you decide to hoof it instead of driving the few blocks. Whether you walk for pleasure, sport or convenience, you probably only consider the dangers when you cross the street.
From your early years, you and others learned to look both ways, cross at the corners and stay alert for unpredictable drivers. Nevertheless, the latest numbers show that nationwide pedestrian fatalities are on the rise. In fact, if you’re thinking of going for a walk in Louisiana, you may be taking your life in your hands.
The Governors Highway Safety Association just released its annual report on pedestrian fatalities, and the news is not good. In fact, the number of walkers killed by motor vehicles saw the largest increase in the history of such record keeping. In one year, the number of deaths rose 11 percent, and the research predicts the total may reach 6,000 when all the states have submitted their data.
In 2016, Louisiana lost 127 citizens in pedestrian accidents, up from 109 the previous year. You may not be surprised to hear some of the reasons why the GHSA believes the number is rising:
- More people are walking for pleasure.
- Lower fuel prices have increased the number of vehicles on the road.
- Both drivers and walkers continue to allow mobile devices to distract them.
- The use of alcohol creates a dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians.
Half of the incidents that resulted in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol. While one third of pedestrians killed by cars had alcohol in their systems, impaired drivers accounted for 15 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents.
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If you were injured by a motor vehicle, or if your loved one died, after being struck by a car, you understand the devastation. A two-ton vehicle striking your unprotected body at any speed can have life-changing consequences. For those fortunate enough to survive the impact, the injuries suffered in such accidents can be catastrophic. You and your family may never be the same.
The pain and suffering you endure may compound if the accident occurred because of the negligence of the driver. While financial struggles that accompany medical or funeral expenses may contribute to your family’s hardships, it is good to know there are alternatives and that the assistance of a legal professional can point you in the right direction.