Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Michigan pedestrian accidents trending downward

According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities surged last year. The group reports a big 10 percent increase in pedestrians killed in 2015 over the previous year.

Michigan had a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.49 per 100,000 in population in 2014. That's slightly more than double the rate of neighboring Ohio (0.74), nearly twice as high as Wisconsin's 0.78 and significantly worse than Indiana's 1.18.

The data shows that despite our problems here, pedestrians here are quite a bit safer than in New Mexico, which has the highest pedestrian fatality rate at 3.55 (more than double Michigan's rate). Minnesota had the lowest rate in the nation with an enviable 0.27.

In addition to New Mexico, six other states broke the 2.0 barrier: Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, Delaware, South Carolina and Nevada.

The good news for us is that preliminary data from 2015 shows Michigan bucking the national increase, trending down 9 percent from 2014.

The governors association says evidence-based strategies can reduce pedestrian accidents that result in injuries and fatalities, including targeted traffic law enforcement, engineering measures, education and changes in motor vehicle design.

Some of the engineering solutions can be found in Ann Arbor, including refuge islands, timed traffic signals, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, speed bumps, roundabouts, bicycle lanes, turn lanes and high-visibility crosswalks (marked by flashing lights and other warnings).

People injured in pedestrian accidents can speak with an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation so that the process of pursuing maximum compensation can begin.

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