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Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise: Fairfax County Tops the List

In 2022, the United States saw approximately 7,508 pedestrian fatalities resulting from motor vehicle collision. This marked the highest pedestrian death count in forty years, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Pedestrian fatalities have been rising since 2010, a paradox as overall traffic-related deaths decreased between 2007 and 2016.

Virginia’s statistics aligned with this alarming trend, in fact, Virginia’s pedestrian fatalities exceeded the national trend. Certain areas, like Northern Virginia, proved particularly perilous for pedestrians. In 2022, 54 of the total pedestrian fatalities occurred in this region, accounting for 36% of all Virginia pedestrian deaths. Fairfax County stood out above the rest.

Virginia is actively addressing this crisis through various pedestrian safety initiatives, acknowledging the preventable nature of most accidents. Starting in 2018, the Virginia Department of Transportation utilized Highway Safety Improvement Program funding for pedestrian safety projects, resulting in 25 statewide initiatives.

Safety plans include:

  1. enhanced pedestrian crossing treatments like high-visibility crosswalks
  2. rapid flashing beacons
  3. pedestrian hybrid beacons
  4. raised sidewalks to alert drivers
  5. and intersection safety treatments, such as left-turn hardening, signal timing strategies, and smart lighting.

Local cities, including Alexandria, are developing their own safety plans driven by a commitment to eliminate pedestrian accidents.

Given the surge in pedestrian fatalities, legal action is crucial. Pedestrian accidents stem from distracted driving, impairment, speeding, and other factors. Legal recourse, such as pedestrian accident lawsuits, aims to hold negligent drivers accountable and seek compensation for victims and their families. The importance of legal representation cannot be understated, as it seeks justice for victims and promotes accountability on the road.

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