According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 2018 was the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists in nearly 30 years. While the report points to several potential factors, it cites the most-likely causes of the recent increase in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities as distracted driving and the increasing size of pickup trucks and SUVs. As summarized in an article discussing the report published by the New York Times:
“Some experts said that as Americans continue to purchase larger S.U.V.s and trucks, they may be making themselves safer at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists, who may not be as visible to them as they are to car drivers and would suffer more from a heavier impact. . . .
“Distracted driving probably plays a part as well, researchers said. About 10 percent of fatal crashes involve a distracted driver, and about 3.2 percent of drivers on the road on any given day are talking on cellphones.”
Key Statistics: The Rise in Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles
The NHTSA report and the New York Times article highlight several notable statistics. Additionally, while insurance companies will often try to blame accident victims for their own injuries, they stress that there is not an established link between pedestrians and cyclists being distracted and pedestrian and cycling accidents and fatalities. Some of the key statistics include:
- “The number of pedestrians killed grew by 3.4 percent last year, to 6,283, and the number of cyclists killed rose by 6.3 percent, to 857, even as total traffic deaths decreased.”
- “On average, about 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day in crashes.”
- “Together [pedestrian and cyclist accidents] accounted for one-fifth of traffic deaths.”
- “Over the last decade, pedestrian deaths remained nearly the same in rural areas but rose 69 percent in urban areas. Cyclist deaths have also risen significantly in those areas, up 48 percent over the decade from 2009 to 2018.”
While some critics have argued that the rise in pedestrian and cyclist deaths is simply attributable to a rise in the population in areas with heavy traffic, the New York Times reports that the increase in fatalities is significantly disproportionate to the rate of population growth in urban areas over the past decade.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents in Denver: Know Your Rights
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian or cyclist accident in Denver, it is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer about your legal rights. If the driver was at fault in the accident, his or her auto insurance policy should cover your losses. You may have other ways to recover financial compensation as well. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, contact us today.
Contact Levine Law in Denver, CO
For more information about your legal rights after a pedestrian or cyclist accident in the Denver area, call us at 303-625-9848 or contact us online. Our personal injury lawyers are available to speak with you 24/7.