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Unprecedented Spike in Pedestrian Deaths Has Officials Panicked


A new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association is nothing short of shocking. The report indicates that there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016—the highest number in 20 years. While all of the various factors leading to the increase are unclear at this time, experts know one thing for sure: the one thing that has also changed dramatically within the last 20 years is smartphone use, indicating that there is a direct link between the increases in pedestrian deaths and distracted driving.

However, that’s not to say that all the blame can be placed on the drivers alone: Pedestrians being distracted by their smartphones is also contributing to overall pedestrian deaths.

It’s Not Just the Numbers, But Also the Rates

Aside from the total numbers, the increase itself has the report’s author in shock: Since 2010, pedestrian deaths have grown at four times the rate of even all overall traffic accident-related deaths. In addition, the volume of wireless data more than doubled just between 2014 and 2015, indicating that smartphone use is one of the main culprits.

The Report Spotlights Problems in Florida, Specifically

According to the 2016 preliminary data, pedestrians now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities recorded within the past 25 years. Florida is one of the five states that each had more than 100 pedestrian deaths, as well as one of the four states that accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths. Florida was also one of three states that had the highest rates of pedestrian deaths per resident population.

Law & Litigation

When it comes to lawsuits alleging negligence responsible for an accident and subsequent injuries, both drivers and pedestrians must exercise reasonable care given the circumstances. In Florida—as in many other states—in actions alleging negligence, contributory fault diminishes the amount that can be recovered as both economic and noneconomic damages for injuries, whether you’re the driver, or the pedestrian.

The Solution?

At this time, car and technology companies are heavily investing in autonomous/self-driving vehicles as the end-all, be-all answer to traffic and pedestrian fatalities, claiming that the cars will be able to detect pedestrians nearby and automatically avoid hitting them. However, autonomous vehicles themselves have already been the subject of numerous accidents involving mortalities here in Florida. How will it be possible for these cars to predict and account for any negligence that the pedestrians themselves engage in?

Contact Us If You’ve Been Involved in A Pedestrian Accident

If you have been injured due to a distracted driver or pedestrian, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys are committed to helping accident victims recover as soon as possible, including helping them recover for any pain and suffering they’ve undergone as a result of the accident.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at


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