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Multiple factors lead to increased pedestrian fatality rate

The number of pedestrian deaths in the United States rose to its highest number in 28 years in 2018. Pedestrian deaths are taking place in California and throughout the country in part because of distractions caused by smartphones. Researchers say that there could be a link between smartphone sales since 2009 and pedestrian deaths. Alcohol was also a key factor in about half of the accidents that resulted in a pedestrian's death.

There was a larger increase in pedestrian deaths at night compared to during the day. From 2008 to 2017, there was a 45 percent increase in nighttime fatalities compared to just 11 percent during the day. It was also noted that the majority of deaths occurred away from intersections, and local governments may want to consider redesigning roads to account for pedestrian traffic. Adding lights further away from intersections may help to keep them safer.

SUVs also played a role in the increase in pedestrian deaths. As they are larger, collisions can cause fatal injuries even at lower speeds. Furthermore, they tend to make contact with a person's torso or head, which can also result in a significant injury or death. Pedestrian deaths caused by SUVs increased 50 percent from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, there were 1,079 deaths caused by this type of vehicle.

If driver negligence results in an accident, a victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. Negligence may include being distracted by a smartphone, driving while impaired or driving while tired. An attorney may use witness statements, a police report and other evidence to establish that negligence caused the accident to occur.

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