There is a nationwide trend of lower pedestrian accident fatalities in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Unfortunately, Indiana’s numbers are going the wrong direction, showing an increase in fatalities over the same period. According to statistics released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Indiana was one among several states that actually posted increases in pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2013.
According to the data, there were 27 pedestrian accident fatalities in the state of Indiana for the first six months of 2012. That number increased to 35 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of the following year. The fact that there has been a significant increase in pedestrian fatalities in Indiana is disturbing, especially in light of the fact that many states with large populations like Florida and California, which also face several pedestrian safety challenges have actually managed to post significant declines in pedestrian fatalities.
In California, there was a drop of 37 pedestrian accident fatalities in the first half of 2013, compared to the previous year. The Golden State has a traffic safety culture that strongly focuses on the rights of motorists, with little attention paid to pedestrians and bicyclists. In spite of that culture, there has been a significant decline in accident fatalities in that state. Florida faces significant pedestrian safety challenges of their own with large numbers of retirees. Yet, the state posted a decline of 55 fatalities in 2013, compared to the previous year. In contrast, the lack of progress made in pedestrian safety in Indiana is disappointing, to say the least.
Nationwide, the overall drop in pedestrian fatalities in 2013 compared to the previous year is being attributed to the improving economy, more than anything else.
Indiana’s challenge for maintaining and improving pedestrian safety remains the same as in other states around the country. For instance, state officials need to look closer at improving existing pedestrian infrastructure to reduce the risk of collisions of pedestrians and automobiles. That is a complicated issue and involves the establishment of more safe, marked, and designated crosswalks that reduce the need for pedestrians to cross the road unsafely.
Another distressing trend complicates the issue as some blame falls to pedestrians for these accidents. There has undoubtedly been an increase in the number of automobile/pedestrian accidents involving pedestrians texting while walking. That should not take the focus away from the fact that many pedestrian accidents occur as a result of motorist negligence.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross, Miller, Muller, Mendelson and Kennedy LLP represent persons injured due to the negligence of others across Indiana.