The coronavirus pandemic brought out the worst in drivers not just in California, but also across the United States, and the consequence has been deadly for pedestrians, according to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Seven states accounted for 54% of all pedestrian deaths, the report said. California led all U.S. states with 485 deaths followed by Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and New York.
During the year of the pandemic, the report shows that dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted, and impaired driving spiked, and nearly 3,000 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roads just during the first six months of 2020. This number represents a staggering 20% increase from the previous year when compared to the number of miles driven during the same time period.
What the Report Shows
GHSA’s annual report titled “Spotlight on Highway Safety” offers one of the first comprehensive looks at the toll that dangerous driving habits during the pandemic have taken on the American public. Based on preliminary data provided by state Highway Safety Offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the analysis found that from January through June 2020, 2,957 pedestrians were killed in car accidents, six more than the same period in 2019.
That occurred at a time when there was a nationwide 16.5% reduction in vehicle miles driven due to pandemic-related lockdowns and stay-at-home restrictions. The rate of drivers striking and killing pedestrians jumped to 2.2 fatalities per billion miles traveled, which the report calls a “significant and unsettling increase.” In 2019, California reported 460 pedestrian deaths. That number rose to 485 during the first six months of 2020, which is a 5% increase from the year before.
Between 2010 and 2019, the number of U.S. pedestrian deaths increased from 4,302 in 2010 to an estimated 6,301 in 2019, which is a 46% increase. The GHSA report states that if this trend continued for the second half of 2020, last year is projected to see the largest-ever annual increase in U.S. pedestrian fatality rate.
Compensation for Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a reckless or negligent driver, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced California pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.