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The Blame Game in Pedestrian Deaths

Presently, pedestrians account for 12 percent of all traffic-related deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report that identified the following information about these fatalities:

  • 72 percent occurred in urban areas
  • 68 percent occurred at night
  • One-third had a blood alcohol level greater than .08

America Walks, an organization working to promote safer walking in cities, points out that the biggest problem is that many streets in urban and suburban areas do not take pedestrians into account. Many roadways are “dangerous by design” ― and excessive speed, not pedestrian carelessness, accounts for the rise in pedestrian accidents and fatalities.

Until city planners start allocating more resources to making our roadways as usable and safe for those on foot or bike as they are for drivers, this blame game can be expected to continue. In fact, the same arguments crop up in many of the pedestrian injury or fatality cases we represent, with insurance agents attempting to shift the responsibility for the accident away from a negligent driver. That attitude is, in so many instances, patently unfair.

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