Pedestrians are common throughout the Phoenix area. Their presence is so common, in fact, that it should be second nature for motorists to act in ways that protect those pedestrians’ safety. The sad reality, however, is that pedestrians are struck and injured or killed with a frequency that is nothing short of startling.

A recently released study from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration shows just how dire the situation has become. According to that study, in 2018 our country saw 6,227 pedestrian fatalities, which is the highest it has been in almost 30 years. Just a decade ago the yearly figure was a little over 4,000. This sharp uptick means that more families are having to struggle to find a way to get by, both emotionally and financially, after the unexpected loss of a loved one.

So, what has caused this drastic increase in fatal pedestrian accidents? The study indicated that there may be many contributing factors. Unsurprisingly, increased cell phone use has been identified as a potential cause, but so, too, has speeding, alcohol use and even an increase in the number of SUVs being driven. Even lackluster infrastructure was identified as an issue for pedestrians. For example, individuals who cannot afford transportation may end up living in a community not well-adapted for pedestrians. In these settings, sidewalks may be severely damaged or non-existent.

When a pedestrian’s death or injury is caused by the negligence of another, a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit is likely justified. It can be challenging to think about building a legal case in the aftermath of a wreck, which is understandable. After all, victims and their families just want to focus on any potential recovery and getting back to normal life as much as possible. But, it is important to gather evidence, develop a legal strategy and present compelling arguments in hopes of recovering compensation for damages. While these claims are certainly very personal in nature, they can also have a profound impact on the attention this ever-growing issue receives, which is no small thing.