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Crossing the Street is Getting More Dangerous

Jason Metz

Pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2018 will be the highest since 1990, according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The GHSA estimates there were 6,227 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2018, a 4% increase from 2017. This continues a sharp upward trend from the 10-year period between 2008 to 2017, which saw a 35% increase in pedestrian fatalities.

The GHSA report suggests the increase in pedestrian fatalities could be related to several factors, including population growth, roadway design, the amount of time people spend walking and smartphone use, which can distract both drivers and pedestrians. Seventy-seven percent of Americans own a smartphone, more than double the number of smartphone owners in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center.

The overwhelming majority of pedestrian fatalities occur at night on local roads and state highways, and at non-intersection locations. Pedestrian fatalities accounted for 16% of all traffic deaths in 2017.

Here's GHSA's "Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State" report.

Insurance coverage for pedestrian accidents

If you have personal injury protection (PIP), you can likely make a claim on it if you were hit by a car as a pedestrian and injured. PIP can also pay for lost wages and other expenses related to the accident (like services for house cleaning you can't do).

When there is other coverage available for accident injuries, PIP usually pays out first. For example, if someone else hit you and your PIP insurance isn't enough for your medical bills, you could make a claim against the other driver's liability car insurance. Or if you have health insurance, you would first use up all your PIP coverage and then use your health insurance.