It would seem that fewer people on the roads in 2020 would translate to a decrease in the number of fatal and serious accidents. This would make sense. Yet it was not the case. A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that the rate of pedestrian deaths in 2020 increase by more than 20% compared to 2019.
The problem is more than just a national issue. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) reports that on average 58 pedestrians are killed when they are struck by a car in the state every single year. That number went up last year. The CTDOT states preliminary data found there were 65 pedestrian deaths in 2020.
How could this happen?
The researchers with the GHSA study voiced some frustration, stating the findings were “mind-boggling” and unexpected. Emergency medical personnel who offered medical assistance to victims of pedestrian crashes blamed speed. They state those who were on the roads were driving too fast and unable to stop or take appropriate action to avoid pedestrians.
What are we doing to stop this trend?
The CTDOT is pushing for increased pedestrian safety measures throughout the state. It includes a four-pronged approach:
- Revisit speed limits. The CTDOT is looking to reduce speed in pedestrian-heavy areas.
- Update infrastructure. The agency is also looking at better infrastructure, such as crosswalks.
- Educate the public. It will also push for increased awareness and education to promote less risky behaviors like speeding or crossing in unmarked areas.
- Collaboration. The CTDOT is also aiming for integration, to make sure the policies that local governments throughout the state consider will work together with other programs to achieve these goals.
It is also helpful to keep the “see something, say something” mentality in mind. One way to achieve this goal, to increase the safety of our roads for pedestrians, is to hold those who violate these expectations accountable if they cause a car accident that results in serious injury or death. Anyone can help by calling the police. Those who are the victims of these accidents can also consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to directly hold that individual financially accountable.