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We Can All Play A Part In Reducing Pedestrian Fatalities

At Curcio Law, we have noticed the increase in motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions and the increase in the severity of injuries for those pedestrians. So, it’s no surprise to us that the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that pedestrian fatalities increased across the country by 53% between 2009 and 2018.

In Virginia specifically, there was an 8% increase in pedestrian deaths in 2018 alone. Last November, we wrote about Vision Zero, a traffic safety initiative that Alexandria City implemented, and the quest to eliminate all traffic-related deaths. Vision Zero was implemented in part because of the increase in pedestrian fatalities.

With COVID-19 forcing people to choose between staying home or moving their activities outside, more people have taken up walking and riding their bicycles. This, unfortunately, has added to the already increasing amount of motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

In addition to the concern that more pedestrians are getting hit by motor vehicles, there is the concern that these pedestrians are now suffering more severe injuries than pedestrians involved in collisions just 4 or 5 years ago. The Daily Progress wrote an in-depth article that details what has caused the severity of pedestrian injuries to worsen. In short, the reasons stem from drivers using more oversized vehicles, a large number of pedestrians being older and at higher risk of suffering fatal injuries, as well as poorly designed roadways that are not equipped to handle the growing volume and size of today’s most popular vehicle styles.

Unfortunately, at Curcio Law, we are seeing an increase in the number of cases we are handling that involve SUVs and pick-up trucks-pedestrian collisions where the pedestrian has suffered severe and fatal injuries.

Due to the pandemic, more people are walking and cycling to exercise or participate in COVID-safe activities. We want to stress that it is more important than ever, as a pedestrian or a driver, to follow the rules of the road to protect yourself and those who are sharing the road with you.

As a pedestrian, make sure you are:

  • aware of your surroundings at all times,
  • that you are following all street signs and traffic signals, and
  • that you are in a clearly marked crosswalk if you enter the road.

As a driver, it is more important than ever to:

  • be on the lookout for increased pedestrian activity,
  • drive at lower speeds, and
  • never drive distracted.

The heightened awareness of your driving and walking behavior can save lives!

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