Motor vehicles are becoming safer thanks to advances in materials technology and automotive systems. However, safer vehicles don’t necessarily mean that the roads are safer for everyone. In fact, current statistical trends indicate that the roads are left safe than they once were.
Specifically, pedestrians have more risk now than they did in recent years. Not only is this trend concerning at a nationwide level, but it plays out even more severely here in Colorado. Those who frequently walk on or along public roads in the Denver area may have substantially more risk than people in many other states for a fatal crash.
What do the statistics say about pedestrian risk?
Although driving has become a safer activity in recent years, walking has become more dangerous. The trend nationwide doesn’t look good for pedestrians. According to an analysis of traffic data, pedestrian deaths across the nation increased by about 53%. However, in Colorado, the increase was much higher. Between 2009 and 2018, pedestrian fatalities in traffic increased by a staggering 89% in Colorado.
Those figures mean that pedestrians now have almost twice the risk they did 12 years ago for dying due to a crash. Certain people have more risk than others. Those in Denver and other urban areas have more risk than those who live in areas with lower population density. Those who walk during the dark have much more risk, and black and Hispanic people have more risk than their white neighbors.
What contributes to this increased risk of a crash?
There are numerous factors that make the roads less safe for pedestrians now than a few years ago. Increases in driver distraction stemming from technology have made the roads less safe for everyone. Bigger vehicles can also mean that crashes cause more damage to pedestrians.
Regardless of what exactly contributes to a pedestrian crash, the outcome is almost inevitably that the pedestrian gets hurt while the person in the car has minimal injuries, if any. Injured pedestrians and those who lose a loved one to a pedestrian crash may be able to make an insurance claim or even file a civil lawsuit against the driver to recover lost wages, medical expenses and other costs.