Since 2009, pedestrian accident deaths have increased every year throughout the United States, according to a study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The newly released study, which only went up to June 2019, did not make any state-by-state predictions for future fatalities. However, it confirmed that the fatality rate for Mississippi pedestrians falls somewhere near the middle of all states.
The report did not address anticipated changes in pedestrian fatality rates because of the COVID-19 crisis. Fewer people have been driving as a result of country-wide quarantines, but there have also been more people outside walking. Many people have turned to walking as a way to get exercise while practicing social distancing. The impact of these changes on pedestrian deaths in Mississippi has yet to be seen.
The GHSA said that the increase in pedestrian deaths could be correlated to an increase in the usage of SUVs and other trucks. Pedestrians struck by SUVs have twice the chance of dying as those who are hit by a car. Another possible cause for the increase could be the use of cell phones while driving, which continues to be a common occurrence notwithstanding the laws against it. Interestingly, the number of motor vehicle accident deaths not involving pedestrians did not increase at the same rate as pedestrian fatalities. This is likely because cars have become safer over the years.
Someone who has been struck by a vehicle could face serious injuries and a long time in recovery. However, they may be able to take legal action if the at-fault driver was deemed negligent. A personal injury claim could result in compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.