Residents of New Jersey who like to take a walk should be aware that pedestrians are being killed in crashes at an unprecedented rate. The Governors Highway Safety Association has analyzed the traffic crash data for the first half of 2019 (statistics for the second half are not yet available) and estimated that there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths for that whole year.

If this preliminary analysis proves to be accurate, the number represents a 5% increase from 2018 and, what’s more, a 60% spike from the 4,109 pedestrian deaths reported in 2009. A significant number of these fatalities (47%) were centered in five states: California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

The highest fatality rates for the first half of 2019 were seen in New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida. The three states with the lowest rates were Wisconsin, Idaho and Vermont. Contrasting with this spike in pedestrian deaths is the fact that all other traffic deaths saw a 2% increase between 2009 and 2018.

Several explanations can be put forward for this upward trend, including the fact that there are more pedestrians and that there are more drivers who use their phones behind the wheel. Another factor is the growing popularity of SUVs and light trucks, which are more likely than other cars to kill any pedestrians they strike.

Pedestrian accidents are often the fault of drivers. In such cases, pedestrians may be able to seek compensation for their losses, including the cost of their medical treatments, the wages they lost and the physical or emotional trauma they incurred. A lawyer may make the process of filing a claim easier, so victims are advised to have a case evaluation done. If hired, the lawyer may bring in crash investigators and medical experts to strengthen the case.