Folks here in Covington and the surrounding area like to get out and walk, either to the local restaurant, to enjoy the night air, save on gas and parking, or for other reasons. Now according to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) study, the number of fatalities has surged to the highest its been since 1990. The new report finds that an estimated 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018. This is a 4% rise from the previous year and a 35% increase over the last ten years.

Why is this happening?

The GHSA listed several reasons for the surge in fatalities. These include:

SUVs: The number of deaths involving SUVs has increased by 50% since 2013. This is due to the increased popularity of the vehicles and their size causing deaths instead of injuries if victims would have been hit by a car.

Human error: Distracted driving is at epidemic proportions these days, but impairment due to alcohol (either driver or pedestrian) is also a major factor.

More people walking: Cities are becoming more densely populated again and there has been a 4% rise from 2008 to 2017 in the number of people walking to work.

More people out at night: Increased rates of fatalities is 45% at night and just 11% during daylight hours.

Be careful out there

It is important to remember that pedestrians cannot assume that drivers see them, particularly at night. Those injured or families of loved ones can contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to get the help they need in recovering damages that can include lost income from injury or death, medical expenses and other related costs.