There is a growing chorus of concern that America's love affair with trucks and large sport utility vehicles is contributing to the nationwide epidemic of fatal pedestrian accidents.
NBC reports the number of pedestrians killed after being struck by SUVs has increased more than 80 percent in the past decade. The overall number of pedestrian deaths has increased more than 50 percent during that same time period.
The news comes amid an increase in the number of serious and fatal collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians nationwide. In 2015, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center reported 5,376 pedestrian deaths, the most since 1996. Preliminary data for 2017 suggests more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed on the nation's roads, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration. Pedestrian deaths in the nation's 10 largest cities increased 29 percent year over year.
Data for 2017 is still being finalized. But safety advocates expect more than 100 pedestrian deaths in Alabama and nearly as many in Maryland.
Large Vehicles Blamed for Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety contends large trucks and SUVs have played a significant role in the increasing risks to pedestrians.
"SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars," said IIHS President David Harkey, noting the larger size of these vehicles makes it less likely a pedestrian who is struck will be able to roll to the side.
While a number of auto manufacturers are adding pedestrian warning systems to vehicles, the risks posed by larger vehicles are not going away anytime soon. Ford Motor Company announced this spring that it plans to drop most cars from its North American lineup to concentrate on manufacturing trucks and SUVs.
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Litigation after Pedestrian Accidents
Our injury lawyers in Maryland, D.C., and Alabama continue to fight for the rights of those injured or killed in pedestrian accidents. These are complex cases, in part because available insurance coverage from the at-fault driver is often inadequate to compensate victims and families.
Alabama auto insurance law requires mandatory minimum liability coverage of just $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident. Maryland auto insurance law is not much better, requiring $30,000 per person, $60,000 per occurrence. However, both Maryland and Alabama require motorists to carry uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This is among the best protections you can have because it will pay your damages in cases where an at-fault driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover all of your losses and damages.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it's important to speak to an experienced attorney who will fight for your compensation. Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm to discuss your options.