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Pedestrian deaths surge in 2015

Texas was one of four states singled out for being particularly dangerous for pedestrians in a March 2016 report prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association. The authors of the report, a consulting firm that focuses on transportation issues, looked into the rise in pedestrian death during the first six months of 2015, and they found that 42 percent of all deaths occurred in Texas, California, Florida and New York.

The report revealed that pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2015 were up 6 percent from the same period in 2014, but the researchers expect the increase to rise to about 10 percent when data for the full year becomes available. This is because pedestrian fatalities are generally higher in the second half of the year. If the researchers are correct, 2015 will mark the highest year-over-year increase in pedestrian fatalities since the figures began being tracked in 1975.

The report contains little in the way of good news for lawmakers or municipal planners. The authors say that there are more pedestrians and motor vehicles on the roads today due to factors including lower gas prices, warmer weather and growing concerns over obesity and diabetes. Experts expect these trends to continue for the foreseeable future.

While some auto-pedestrian accidents are caused by those on foot acting recklessly, many more occur because motorists are impatient, distracted or impaired. When pedestrians are injured after being struck by a motor vehicle, they may pursue civil remedies. Pedestrian injuries are often debilitating and painful, and accident victims may be left unable to earn a living for considerable periods. When accident victims cannot work, the lawsuits filed on their behalf by personal injury attorneys may seek compensation for their lost income in addition to their medical costs and other expenses.

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