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Are pedestrian accidents increasing each year?

Traffic fatalities in the U.S.rose quickly in the last several years, hitting a seven-year high in 2015. What is perhaps most interesting and disturbing about this is that cyclists and pedestrians have been the victims of these accidents a disproportionate amount, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2015, there were 35,200 people killed in traffic accidents. That was a 7.7 percent increase in the number of people killed in crashes in 2014 and the highest number of fatalities since 2008. Pedestrian deaths specifically went up 10 percent, and most seriously, bicyclist deaths went up 13 percent.

Could an increase in drivers explain this unusual spike in deaths? Unfortunately not. The NHTSA showed that the number of drivers only increased by 3.5 percent.

What could explain the rise in deaths? Some people are quick to blame distracted walking or riding, while others believe lower gas prices have encouraged younger drivers to be on the roads more often.

As someone who often heads out on walks or runs, it's important to be cautious around or on the roads. While it's not your responsibility alone to stay safe, being safer can help you avoid an accident. Wear bright colors, carry lights or reflective gear and always travel toward the oncoming traffic. It helps drivers see you and reduces the chance of being involved in an accident.

Of course, there are times when drivers simply aren't paying attention. You deserve fair compensation after you suffer an injury because of a dangerous driver, and that's something you may want to look into with your attorney.

Source: Streets Blog USA, "U.S. Traffic Fatalities Rising Fast — Especially Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths," Angie Schmitt, accessed Jan. 23, 2017

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