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An “alarming rate:” bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities

We note on our website at the established Baton Rouge personal injury law firm of Simien & Simien the many catalysts that cause motor vehicle accidents across Louisiana. Those centrally include these negligent-linked behaviors:

  • Speeding
  • Drunk and drugged driving
  • Unremedied vehicle defects and malfunctioning systems
  • Distracted driving owing to myriad careless actions

Careless behind-the-wheel behavior of course imperils occupants in other motorized vehicles sharing the road.

A far more vulnerable demographic than passenger-vehicle occupants exists, though, when it comes to being imperiled by reckless drivers. That population is spotlighted in a report recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA’s focus in that study is on pedestrians and bicyclists, with relevant accident numbers pointing to some dismal and depressing conclusions.

The bottom line: Although roadway deaths nationally have declined overall in recent years, that salutary news does not embrace outcomes for walkers and bicycle riders. Cyclists and pedestrian deaths resulting from collisions with motor vehicles have surged markedly over a recent measuring period. An article on the NHTSA report underscores the “alarming rate” at which they are occurring.

One safety expert/commentator notes that “a new trend has taken hold where more vulnerable road users are increasingly being killed.”

There’s irony attached to that, namely, that spiked fatalities are occurring despite an abundance of safety-enhancing vehicle technology being rolled out. It is seemingly the case that tech improvements are persistently matched by increasingly more distracted drivers.

Safety proponents laud the enhancements that are now operative on newer-model vehicles. They say that structural improvements that better isolate and protect walkers and bicyclists from motorized traffic are also needed, though. They especially point to things like expanded bike lanes, safer sidewalks and intersections, ramps, and other amenities.