The Governors Highway Safety Administration has made a preliminary study of traffic deaths in 2019. One area it focused on was pedestrian fatalities. Their numbers, Georgia residents should be aware, were consistently declining for two decades prior to 2009, after which they have been consistently rising.

Looking at the statistics for the first half of 2019, the GHSA estimates that a total of 6,590 pedestrians died that year. Assuming that the estimate is accurate, it would mark a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% spike from 2009. By contrast, all other traffic deaths saw a 2% increase between 2009 and 2018.

The most pedestrian fatalities were seen in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. These five states, which together make up 33% of this country’s population, were the setting for 47% of pedestrian deaths. New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida saw the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. The lowest rates were in Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont.

The GHSA has given several explanations for the trend, such as warmer weather inviting more people to go out and walk and the increase in drivers being distracted by their phones. Another factor it mentions is the popularity of SUVs and light trucks. Large SUVs are twice as likely as cars are to kill a pedestrian.

Distracted drivers are not the only motorists who cause pedestrian accidents. Others may be drunk or drowsy, for instance. Whatever the nature of the case, pedestrians who were following the traffic laws and were injured may be able to file a claim against the responsible driver. With a lawyer, they may achieve a reasonable amount in damages out of court. It all starts with a case evaluation. The lawyer may then hire investigators to bring together the necessary proof.