Going for a walk is healthy, right? During the worst surge phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was one of the few pleasures we had left. Activities like dining in restaurants or gathering with extended family at home, which are fun everywhere but even sweeter in Louisiana, were forbidden for a while. Yes, some news reports looked on the bright side, highlighting how air pollution decreased when fewer people were driving and how employees assigned to work from home had replaced their afternoon commute in a gas-guzzling SUV with a refreshing afternoon walk. When you look more carefully at the data, though, the pandemic did not decrease the risk of injury for pedestrians. In fact, it did the opposite; pedestrian fatalities increased sharply in 2020. If you got hit by a car while walking during the pandemic, contact a Louisiana car accident lawyer.
Disturbing Report About Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities During the Pandemic
Last month, the National Public Radio website published a report about fatality traffic accidents involving pedestrians. It appears that, for a variety of reasons, the pandemic only made it more dangerous to walk in urban areas and near roadways. Here are some of the highlights of the report:
- The pedestrian fatality rate increased 20% from 2019 to 2020; this is more than the increase from 2010 to 2019. The pedestrian fatality rate is the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents per the number of miles traveled by motor vehicles. There were fewer motor vehicles traveling in 2020 than in the preceding years.
- Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Native American victims represented a greater percentage of the total pedestrian accident victims than the percentage of the total U.S. population represented by these demographic groups. Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Native American also represent a disproportionately large percentage of essential workers, who were required to report to their jobs in person during the pandemic.
- One reason for the increase in pedestrian deaths was lack of sidewalks. Some people who had previously commuted to work by bus began to walk to work in order to reduce their risk of COVID exposure. Even before the pandemic, sidewalk-less roads in populated areas have been a risk factor for pedestrian fatalities.
- In the last 10 years, new car safety standards have made vehicles safer for the people inside but even more danger for pedestrians who happen to get hit by these indestructible cars. (Similarly, another report demonstrated that car safety developments before 2016 made cars safer for men drivers but more dangerous for women drivers.)
- The NPR report corroborates the findings of another report which says that, while there were fewer cars on the road during the pandemic, the cars that were there traveled at higher speeds.
- When bars started to reopen after the pandemic shutdown, drunk driving increased; some of the accidents that were fatal to pedestrians involved drunk drivers.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Pedestrian Traffic Accidents
A car accident lawyer can help you if you got hit by a car or other motor vehicle while you were out walking. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.