Someone you love was hurt, perhaps fatally, while walking in Columbus, Ohio, and you’re planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are many in your same position, and their number increases over the years. In fact, the number of pedestrian deaths has been steadily climbing since 2009.

Pedestrian deaths see a 30-year high

The Governors Highway Safety Administration came out with a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in 2019. Using data from the first half of that year, the GHSA estimated that there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019: a number that, if it turns out to be accurate, represents a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% spike from 2009.

This is also the highest that the number has been since 1988. The number was, in fact, declining between 1988 and 2009. No other type of traffic death has seen such a dramatic increase. The GHSA calculated only a 2% increase in all other traffic deaths from 2009 to 2019.

States with the highest fatality rate

New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida had the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities for the first half of 2019. The lowest rates were found in Wisconsin, Vermont and Idaho. As for the greatest number of fatalities, these were seen in California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. Forty-seven percent of the 6,590 deaths arose in these five states, which together comprise about a third of the entire U.S. population.

Possible reasons for the increase

The GHSA gave several explanations for the increase. There are, for example, more drivers who are distracted by their phones. More SUVs and light trucks are on the roads, too. Due to their design, these vehicles are much more likely to kill any pedestrians they collide with.

A lawyer to turn to for advice

You may know that you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit and yet not know what steps to take to file it. Hiring a lawyer who deals in pedestrian collisions should be the first step. The right legal representation will help you achieve the appropriate amount of economic and non-economic damages.