What's Causing the Surge in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents?
Serious and fatal pedestrian accident rates are soaring across the U.S. According to early estimates, drivers hit and killed more than 7,500 pedestrians last year. That's a 41-year high.
West Virginia bucks national trend
Since 2019, deadly pedestrian crash rates have increased by about 27%-30% in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Meanwhile, West Virginia has one of the lower pedestrian death rates in the country and, in recent years, has significantly decreased the number of accidents involving people on foot. Fatal pedestrian accidents are down nearly 30% in West Virginia over the last four years.
Still, the state has a long way to go before roadways are safe for all vulnerable road users, including pedestrians. In 2022, pedestrians made up 9% of total traffic deaths statewide.
West Virginia pedestrian accident statistics
A new study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and West Virginia's strategic highway safety plan to eliminate deadly pedestrian accidents by 2050 shed light on the state's traffic safety situation. For one thing, both studies found that common factors in West Virginia pedestrian crashes include impaired driving, drivers ages 65 or older, speeding, intersections, and drivers ages 15 through 20.
To prevent pedestrian accidents, an area of focus for traffic safety leaders in West Virginia is street intersections - especially those in urban and suburban areas, around colleges or universities, or within certain metro areas and other places with high foot traffic. Here are some more general statistics about serious and fatal West Virginia pedestrian accidents:
- 90% of pedestrian accidents are single-vehicle crashes.
- About half of all WV pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian enters or crosses a roadway.
- Around 30% of pedestrian crashes involved alcohol or drug impairment.
- Thursdays, 9-10 p.m., is the most dangerous time of the week for pedestrians, according to state data.
- 29% of pedestrian accidents happen on West Virginia state routes.
- Kanawha County typically reports the most fatal pedestrian accidents in West Virginia. Almost 20% of all WV deadly pedestrian accidents occur in a Kanawha County community.
- 17% of pedestrian accidents occur at intersections.
- Usually, August is the month with the most reported pedestrian accidents. About 15% of WV deadly pedestrian crashes happen in August.
Legal help for injured pedestrians
Many pedestrian crash victims initially believe their case is "simple" or "straightforward" - the driver hit them, so the driver must be held liable and accountable. However, the reality is often more complex, and just because the accident wasn't their fault doesn't guarantee a successful injury claim.
Drivers frequently deny responsibility, and insurance companies may attempt to shift blame onto the victims. In such situations, seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney becomes essential.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, our team is ready to fight for the justice and financial compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn how we can advocate for your rights. We proudly serve clients in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.