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The number of Pedestrian deaths surges

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is alarmed by the surge in the number of pedestrian deaths in recent years. It cites a 46 percent increase between 2009-2016 (the most recent year with data available). That spike includes 5,987 deaths in 2016, which is the most since 1990.

So it announced a new plan to counter this trend, providing 11 new recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) as well as the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

For the NHTSA: It suggested that it create new guidelines to improve the design in vehicles to have higher headlight standards and better pedestrian-detection systems. Another suggestion was for car manufacturers to have softer bumpers.

For the FHA:It offered support to state and local authorities to develop and enact plans of their own, citing the unique individual characteristics of the communities that can be best understood by local engineers. Nonetheless, specific recommendations include:

  • More medians built
  • More sidewalks built
  • Automatic speed enforcement
  • Better street lighting at night
  • Increase the public’s awareness of the issue

No cause given

The NTSB did not offer reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths, but some cities have ideas. Honolulu recently banned pedestrians using smart devices while crossing the street (fines ranging from $15-$99). New York has seen pedestrian fatalities drop to 101 last year, which is the lowest since 1910. Its mayor cited slower speed limits, increased enforcement of speed and safer street design as contributing factors.

Pedestrians can face serious injuries and death

Pedestrians can be injured or die under a number of different circumstances here in Covington or elsewhere. With the rise of distracted driving, one should never assume that a driver sees them as they cross a street or walk on the shoulder of the road.

It is always recommended that pedestrian victims and their families contact an attorney experienced in personal injury. These lawyers work in the interests of the victim, seeking compensation for lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering caused by the injury.

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