Do Pedestrian Car Accidents Increase in the Summer?
Each year, thousands of individuals are killed and tens of thousands are seriously injured in pedestrian car accidents throughout the country. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2017, the most recent year we have full records for. This works out to an average of one pedestrian killed every 88 minutes.
Although the number of pedestrian fatalities was slightly lower in 2017 than in 2016 (there were 6,080 pedestrians killed that year), it is still significantly higher than just a decade ago. During the first decade of the 21st century (2001-2010), the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in any single year was 4,892 (2005). In recent years, however, we have seen vast increases in pedestrian auto accidents, severe injuries, and fatalities.
Although we do not have final numbers from 2018 yet, the preliminary reports do not look good. Initial estimates from the Governor’s Highway Association (GHA) project that the number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018 exceeded 6,200, producing the highest number of fatalities since 1990. And according to GHA state projections, pedestrian fatalities in Mississippi jumped by 42% last year.
What is Driving the Increase in Pedestrian Car Accidents?
The GHA points to a number of trends that may be causing the rise in pedestrian fatalities:
- More Foot Traffic: From 2007 to 2016, the estimated number of Americans who choose to walk to work increased by 4%.
- Unsafe Driving Behaviors: Driver negligence is largely to blame for the growing number of pedestrian auto accidents. Speeding, aggressive/reckless driving, and alcohol impairment have always been major culprits. The increased use of smartphones in recent years has caused more and more motorists to make other poor decisions such as texting while driving and engaging in other types of electronic activity while behind the wheel.
- A Spike in SUV Ownership: As fuel prices have dropped over the past several years, SUVs have replaced sedans as the top-selling type of passenger vehicle. And during the past five years, pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs have increased by more than 50%. SUVs are wider and heavier, making them more hazardous to pedestrians who are struck by them. In fact, an NHTSA study found that SUVs are 2.5 to 3 times more likely to kill a pedestrian than a sedan or another type of passenger vehicle.
Do Pedestrian Auto Accidents Increase during the Summer?
In Mississippi, we have good weather all year round, which is one of the reasons why our state has a high number of pedestrian accidents (as a percentage of our population). These types of accidents do tend to peak in the summertime, however, because kids are out of school, there are more tourists coming through the state, there are more inexperienced riders on the road (such as high school kids on summer break), and there are more families out and about enjoying summer vacation.
NHTSA data also shows a correlation between the season and the time of day pedestrian car crashes occur. During all seasons, the vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occur on the weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). But the season you are in seems to make a difference in the time of day when these types of accidents tend to occur:
- During the fall and winter months (September through February), the largest percentage of pedestrian traffic fatalities is between 6:00 and 8:59p.m.
- During the spring and summer months (March through August), the largest percentage of pedestrian fatalities is between 9:00 and 11:59p.m.
Many experts believe that the difference in the time of day in which it is most dangerous for pedestrians can be explained by daylight savings time and the extended daylight hours we enjoy during the spring and summer months. This results in more people being out walking later into the evening, and more people out driving as well.
Injured in a Pedestrian Car Accident in Mississippi? Call the Gardner Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
More than two-thirds of pedestrian traffic-related accidents are the fault of motorists that are involved. And when someone is seriously injured because of the reckless or negligent actions of another party, they deserve to be fully compensated.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a pedestrian auto accident, contact the experienced attorneys at the Gardner law firm today. We can meet with you to assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. Call our office at (228) 900-9618 or message us through our online contact form.