Modern vehicles have generally reduced fatalities for people traveling inside vehicles throughout West Virginia and nationwide. The latest statistics about traffic fatalities, however, show that pedestrians and bicyclists are not faring so well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths went up by 3.4% in 2018 compared to the previous year. As a result, legislation is developing in the U.S. House of Representatives and some states to address the problem.
Potentially, lawmakers might introduce new laws that call for vehicles to have softer fronts. Traffic spaces designed to separate motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists more effectively might emerge as well to reduce the rising death toll. The increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2018 translated into 208 more people dying than the year before. The same year claimed 51 more bicyclists compared to 2017 because of a 6.3% rise in fatal bicycle accidents.
An analysis of NHTSA data points to an increase in urban populations to account for the jump in pedestrian and bicyclist accidents. From 2017 to 2018, the national urban population grew by 13%. Many city dwellers walk or ride their bikes alongside heavy city traffic, which introduces more opportunities for accidents to happen.
A pedestrian or bicyclist who survives a traffic accident might experience catastrophic injuries. The considerable medical bills and lost income associated with serious car crashes might leave a person looking for ways to pursue damages from a negligent driver. Legal advice given before an accident victim speaks with an insurance adjuster might protect a person from accepting an inadequate settlement. An attorney may be able to identify insurance coverage applicable to the accident and gather evidence to justify a claim for compensation. Recovery of damages might occur without going to court, but an attorney may manage a lawsuit if one becomes necessary.