No one wants to think of a casual stroll outside as being dangerous. But pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common on or near New Mexico roads.

In fact, analysis of federal and state data, courtesy of the Governors Highway Safety Association, reveals that pedestrian deaths have risen more than 50% over the past decade. To put that statistic in perspective, consider that vehicle accident fatalities not involving pedestrians have stayed at approximately the same level.

Deadly Setbacks

In total, pedestrian deaths in 2019 numbered 6,590, which is up 5% from the previous year, with most occurring away from intersections. Even more unsettling, the number of pedestrian deaths is at a record high not seen for 30 years. This represents a tragic setback for pedestrian safety.

Safety experts say that progress in pedestrian safety has been slowed, if not erased, by several specific factors:

  • Increase in texting and cell phone use while driving
  • A nationwide rise in SUV purchases
  • Drivers operating vehicles while impaired by alcohol
  • Road designs focused only on vehicular traffic, rather than minimizing pedestrian dangers

Approximately 75% of pedestrian accident fatalities occur at night, a jump from 67% from 2009 to 2018. Walking in daylight hours is increasingly dangerous as well, with 16% more pedestrian deaths during daylight hours in recent years.

From flashing beacons and “islands” to road engineering and enforcing laws to keep pedestrians safe, various options exist. However, little can be done to protect the safety of someone walking when a driver is drunk, or if a pedestrian is intoxicated. In fact, this last category accounted for a third of fatal pedestrian accidents.

Walkers, drivers and safety experts can all make a difference in reducing or returning the number of pedestrian deaths to 1990 levels, if not lower.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney about receiving all the medical care and financial compensation you need and deserve. A personal injury lawyer can answer your questions, explain your options, and help you move forward after a serious injury.