Although the pandemic reduced the number of drivers on the road during 2020 and 2021, those who took to the streets and highways were less mindful of driving carefully. As noted by Forbes, 2020 saw more than 6,500 pedestrians killed by vehicles. NBC News reported 2020 was the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian accidents since the mid-1970s.
The Governors Highway Safety Association attributes two factors to the increase in vehicle collisions involving pedestrians. A tendency to step on the gas when an empty road extends ahead reflects one factor. Distraction also contributed; drivers spent more time looking at mobile devices.
Maintaining speed limits may not reduce distracted driver dangers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motorists reading or sending text messages while driving at 55 MPH could travel the length of a football field while using their hand-held device. Drivers require more time to react if someone crosses the road ahead of them.
The CDC also notes that distracted driving does not require an interruption caused by a mobile device. It could take the form of drivers taking their hands off the wheel, eating while driving or using a navigation system. When speeding on an open road becomes part of the equation, the danger of collisions involving pedestrians or bicyclists increases.
Harm caused by speeding and distracted drivers may require a legal action
If a speeding or distracted driver causes a pedestrian harm, it could require legal action to obtain the full compensation deserved. The responsible motorist’s insurance company may not take into consideration the full extent of pain and suffering, lost wages and possible long-term effects.
Pedestrians rarely have responsibility for a vehicle accident. An individual harmed while walking may receive a fully justified degree of relief through a personal injury lawsuit rather than dealing with an insurance adjuster.