The coronavirus pandemic led to fewer people commuting to work, which should have led to a corresponding drop in pedestrian accidents. However, a report by the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) actually showed the opposite. As reported by CBS Miami, pedestrian fatalities were up across the nation in the first half of 2020, even though far fewer motorists were out on the road. This alarming trend should serve as the latest wake-up call to city planners to begin aggressively protecting pedestrians so that they do not suffer fatal collisions.
What Caused the Jump in Fatalities?
The GHSA found that motor vehicle use dropped by roughly 16.5% in the first half of 2020. Nevertheless, the number of pedestrian fatalities were up slightly. This means that the pedestrian fatality rate would have increased pretty substantially.
What is causing the increase in fatal collisions? One reason could be that motorists are driving more aggressively now that there is less traffic on the road. A reckless driver could easily speed through an intersection or take a right-hand turn on a red light without checking that the intersection is cleared. These types of reckless acts imperil any pedestrian, who is helpless to defend herself when struck by a large vehicle.
Another risk could be drunk driving. Some people who have been out of work could turn to alcohol or drugs to get through the day. These chemicals impair drivers substantially, leading directly to pedestrian crashes.
There Is Hope for Florida
Although numbers were up across the nation, the group did find that numbers had fallen in Florida—which is good news for a state that routinely ranks as one of the worst for pedestrians. In the first 6 months of 2020, Florida saw 332 pedestrian fatalities, a decline from 385 in the first six months of 2019. This represents a decline of over 10%.
Of course, Miami and surrounding areas have kicked up safety campaigns for pedestrians. Miami-Dade’s new mayor has also made pedestrian and bicyclist safety a priority, with the city developing a transportation plan that finally puts pedestrians first. With luck, these plans will bear fruit in the form of much lower collision rates.
We Represent Injured Pedestrians & Their Families
Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP has the resources injured victims need to successfully secure compensation following a crash with a motorist. Please call us today, 305-371-2692, to speak with one of our Miami pedestrian accident lawyers to learn more about your options.