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Pedestrian fatalities on the rise

Motor vehicle accidents where pedestrians are involved are much more likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities than those in which two vehicles collide with one another. Pedestrians are more vulnerable by virtue of their lack of protection from the forces of impact. According to an estimate reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,000 pedestrians were killed during 2016 in motor vehicle crashes in Kentucky and across the U.S.

That statistic represents a 22 percent increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities over the course of just two years. Among the reasons for the increase in pedestrian deaths are large, high-volume city streets, high levels of traffic congestion and overall road design. According to a study by the University of California Transportation Center, pedestrian accidents are demonstrably more likely with each additional lane of traffic beyond two.

Part of the problem is that roads are not designed with pedestrians in mind. They're designed, rather, to speed the flow of traffic. Europe sees less pedestrian accidents because speed limits are purposely kept lower there in areas with high numbers of pedestrians.

Drivers can reduce the risk of a car-pedestrian collision by paying attention while they're behind the wheel and refraining from distracted driving activities like using cell phones. Drivers should be especially careful when they are traveling near schools or in residential areas. Pedestrians can minimize their risks by crossing streets in crosswalks and when they have the right-of-way.

An individual who is injured in a car accident with a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages or other damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law might be able to help by identifying potential defendants or gathering medical records. An attorney may be able to conduct witness depositions in preparation for trial or negotiate settlement with defendants and their insurers.

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