Almost 6,000 pedestrians in Michigan and the rest of the country were killed in 2017 from motor vehicle crashes. The number of fatalities was similar in 2016. While there is no scientific proof, experts believe that the use of marijuana and smartphones are responsible for the high number of deaths.
The report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association states that 5,984 pedestrians were killed in the United States in 2017. After a 9.5 percent increase in 2015 and a 9 percent increase in fatalities in 2016, the 2017 statistic reflects hardly any change.
The rise in pedestrian fatalities has occurred even though vehicles have been equipped with features to improve vehicle safety. These features include rear-view mirrors, technology that warns of collisions and automatic emergency brakes.
However, some vehicle safety features are not as well developed as they should be. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, poorly designed headlights are an issue as is failing to employ lights that are able to rotate as the road curves. Nearly 75 percent of pedestrian deaths take place at night, which makes illuminating the road properly a priority.
There are situations in which pedestrians may be negligent as well. One city in California has made it illegal to cross the road while wearing headphones or using a phone.
A personal injury attorney may work to obtain financial compensation for clients who are injured in auto-pedestrian accidents. The liable party may be responsible for medical expenses for serious injuries caused by the accident. Drivers who were distracted, drowsy, speeding or drunk when their vehicle struck a pedestrian may be sued for financial damages.