What's Causing the Rise in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
"Both state and national data confirm that the pedestrian safety crisis on U.S. roads is worsening," according to a recent GHSA report based on accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
And on the state and local level, Tennessee and the Nashville area also have serious problems with pedestrian accidents.
Disturbing National Statistics
The recent GHSA report about pedestrian accidents revealed that 7,508 pedestrians nationwide died in 2022. That number is the single highest annual death toll since 1981, the GHSA reported.
The 2022 statistics are also part of a continued upward trend in the number of pedestrian fatalities nationwide in recent years. Since 2010, pedestrian deaths have increased by 77 percent, including 19 percent higher since 2019 alone.
Pedestrian Accidents in Tennessee
So, how bad is the problem in Tennessee? Like the rest of the country, Tennessee set a record for pedestrian accidents and deaths in 2022. Last year, 205 people statewide died in 1,805 pedestrian accidents, according to GHSA data and additional statistics compiled by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security. Those figures represent a 15.8 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in Tennessee compared to 2021 and 10.1 percent more pedestrian accidents than the previous year.
Pedestrian Fatalities in Nashville
As for Nashville, pedestrian accidents and fatalities are also a serious concern. Last year, the city set a record for pedestrian fatalities, with 49 deaths in 2022, according to Metro Nashville Police, who were interviewed by WKRN News about the record number of pedestrian deaths in the city.
"It feels really sad," said Meredith Montgomery, executive director of Walk Bike Nashville, in an interview with WKRN News. "At first, there's a sense of, 'Ugh, is any of the work we're doing matter?'"
Countywide, Davidson County (which includes Nashville) also set a record last year for the most pedestrian accidents in a single year in at least a decade. In 2022, there were 491 pedestrian accidents in Davidson County, TN, an increase of 18.5 percent compared to 2021, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents often occur for three specific reasons:
- Drunk driving – An estimated 19 percent of pedestrian fatalities nationwide involve a drunk driver.
- Speeding – Drivers who exceed the speed limit cause an estimated 8 percent of pedestrian deaths nationwide. Locally, speeding is also often a common cause of pedestrian accidents in Nashville, according to local road safety experts.
- Distracted driving – From texting to eating while driving or looking up directions on a GPS, many accidents involving pedestrians occur because drivers are not paying attention to what's happening around them on the road.
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
You might think you don't need legal help if a driver hit you or a loved one with a car. Unfortunately, many claims involving pedestrian accidents quickly become complicated legal cases. That's because there's often a lot of money at stake, and the insurance company is more interested in protecting it's bottom line than paying you fair compensation for your losses.
Insurance companies don't intimidate us. We are well-versed in advocating for injured pedestrians and their families throughout Tennessee and understand what it takes to get meaningful results for our clients.