Rise in Distracted Driving Accidents

There has been a recent trend in a number of distracted driving deaths. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016 by distracted drivers. In the previous year, more than 800 bicyclists were killed by cars, and pedestrian deaths rose 10% between 2014 and 2015. Bicyclists’ deaths also increased 13% between those years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Many people have wondered what the cause for this increase has been. Some theorize a stronger economy has led to an increase of car on the roads, while others have blamed more people walking to work or for recreation. Likewise, people have pointed to smartphone technology as the reason so many drivers are increasingly distracted. Most efforts to prevent distraction are focused on vehicle drivers, rather than bicyclists and pedestrians, who sometimes play a part in the inattention that leads to pedestrian accidents.

One additional trend people have noticed is that teenagers account for a 25% increase in pedestrian deaths over the past five years. Out of all children, teens account for half of all pedestrian deaths in the United States, and unintentional pedestrian traffic injuries are the 5th leading cause of fatalities of those ages 5 to 19.

Not only are drivers more easily distracted, but pedestrians and bikers are as well. It’s not unusual to see a biker riding without a helmet and with an earbud in either ear as they pedal obliviously down the street. Likewise, many people, especially teenagers, have developed the poor habit of looking down at their phones rather than at their surroundings. If both driver and pedestrian are looking away, it’s no wonder we have seen such an upsurge in a number of pedestrian fatalities. With good luck, more agencies aiming to raise public awareness of these deaths will focus not only on preventing drivers from looking at their phones but prevent pedestrians from making the same mistake.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, talk to our Wisconsin personal injury attorney. John P. Casey is a native Wisconsinite who has more than 24 years of experience negotiating and litigating in a wide range of personal injury claims. Our firm also doesn’t accept any legal fees until we obtain a financial recovery for you. Talk to us in a free initial consultation today by calling (414) 272-5564. We look forward to hearing from you.
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