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Why are pedestrian deaths rising?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Firm News

Things are meant to get safer with time, not more dangerous. New technology and regulations are meant to protect people on the roads, not see more of them getting killed. So why is it that the number of pedestrians dying on our roads is going up, not down?

The simple answer is that drivers are killing more pedestrians. They killed 58% more in 2023 than in 2013. They are not setting out to do this, so why is it happening?

Skewed safety priorities

Manufacturers and regulators have tried to make driving safer. Yet the bulk of their focus has been on making it safer for those inside cars. And that has come at the expense of those outside the vehicles.

Vehicle size

Would you feel safer sitting inside a deer-sized vehicle or a bison-sized one? It stands to reason the bison-sized one would offer you more protection. The extra bulk makes it more resistant to external impacts. But if you consider which you’d rather be hit by as a pedestrian, the answer switches. You have a far better chance of surviving when a smaller vehicle hits you.

Manufacturers have been busy bulking up their vehicles over the past decade or so. While this allows them to fit essential passenger safety features such as airbags and crumple zones, it makes them much more lethal to pedestrians.

The increased weight means they hit with more force and the increased front height means they hit higher up the body where the vital organs are. A driver’s vision of pedestrians is also reduced thanks to thicker roof pillars and bigger hoods obscuring their view.

Faster traffic

How many times heard about an attempt to speed up traffic flow through an area? Probably far more than you have encountered attempts to slow it down. Allowing drivers to travel faster means a collision with a pedestrian is more likely to be lethal.

Drivers choose which car to drive, just as they choose how to drive it. If a negligent driver injures you or kills someone you love you have a right to seek compensation.

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