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2017 pedestrian fatalities held steady, but concerns remain

A recent annual report stated that the number of pedestrian fatalities around the county hovered just under 6,000. With 5,984 deaths reported, the number of deaths stayed static over the last year after showing marked increases in both 2016 and 2015.

While it will take time to analyze this report, early suggestions were that distracted driving is an ongoing contributing factor to serious pedestrian accidents. After all, as this blog has discussed on previous occasions, when a motorist is looking at his or her cell phone or computer screen, he or she can easily miss a crosswalk or a stoplight and just not have time to stop for a pedestrian in the road.

Another significant factor in the continued rise in pedestrian accidents, according to some, is that drugged driving is becoming more common. Specifically, especially as society's tolerance for the drug grows, more and more drivers are getting caught driving while under the influence of marijuana. As marijuana can have the same inebriating effect as alcohol, those who are under the influence of this drug are more likely to strike a pedestrian.

Especially since the vast majority of these accidents, around three quarters, seem to happen at night, some have suggested that car manufacturers desperately need to improve the design of car headlights so that drivers can better spot pedestrians.

The fact that the number of pedestrian fatalities remains at a 25-year high mark is concerning, especially since there are already many safety campaigns and other initiatives in place. Fortunately, Tampa area victims of pedestrian accidents and their families can get compensation for their losses from the responsible driver.

Source: USA Today, "Nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2017 crashes, report says," Nathan Bomey, Feb. 28, 2018.

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