A report by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that Delaware has the highest number of pedestrian deaths per capita than any other state. The report notes that while pedestrian deaths are increasing nationwide, Delaware continues to top the charts for the second year in a row. In fact, 22.5 percent of all traffic-related deaths in 2016 happened in Delaware and the state has already documented 12 pedestrian fatalities this year, according to the report.
Cause of Pedestrian Accidents
There are two main causes of pedestrian fatalities – distracted drivers and unaware pedestrians. Statistics from the report show that 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen in the dark and 80 percent happen away from intersections. Taking certain precautions can help both drivers and pedestrians in Delaware to lower the state’s staggering pedestrian fatality rate.
An important tip for drivers is to not get distracted. Texting, changing the radio station or even talking with a passenger can take attention away from drivers’ main task of driving safely. Additionally, drivers should always be on the look-out for pedestrians; they do not always cross the street at crosswalks. Given that a large percentage of these accidents happen in the dark, drivers should slow down when visibility is poor so they have more time to see pedestrians and avoid accidents.
Likewise, pedestrians should always be alert and in full control of their faculties. Texting on a phone, playing music on headphones, and being intoxicated are all activities that impair pedestrians’ awareness of their surroundings. Pedestrians are also advised to use crosswalks whenever possible and always stay in well-lit areas so they will be more visible to drivers.
Preventing Pedestrian Fatalities
Although the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has teamed up with local law enforcement to raise awareness of this issue, their efforts have been unsuccessful in reducing the number of pedestrian deaths in the state.
The OHS frequently conducts a variety of educational and enforcement campaigns designed to reach different segments of the population. These include distribution of reflective tags to pedestrians, circulation of highway safety messages and posts on social media. Officials have also invested in bus wraps, posters, and lifeguard stand ads to remind everyone about safe walking practices. The agency even uses grants to provide overtime pay for police officers who conduct patrols for drunk driving, which often occurs late at night.
However, despite the agency’s commitment to making a difference, pedestrian death tolls continue to climb. An author of the report suggests that the ineffectiveness of educational campaigns may be indicate that people are not learning anything new; they know what they should be doing but they are just not doing it. The OHS and law enforcement will nevertheless continue conducting these campaigns while also attempting to come up with new ways to raise awareness and encourage positive change.
Delaware Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Pedestrians Involved in Accidents
If you have sustained injuries or a suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, the Delaware pedestrian accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can help you hold the responsible party accountable. Our team of experienced, dedicated lawyers represent the injured in Philadelphia, Chester County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania and throughout Delaware. Call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online to discuss your case today.