There has been a real and noticeable rise in pedestrian accidents since the pandemic began. Figures are up an alarming amount, with the number of reported accidents each year almost doubling. So, why is this trend moving at such a rate, and what are the contributing factors behind the shift? There are a few reasons that are easily pinpointed, and these are explored below.
Poor Road Designs
One major complaint worth discussing is the poor infrastructure and road design. Not only are roads deteriorating, but there are more and more complicated and ambiguous structures in use than ever before. This means an increase in mistakes from drivers has left a wide gap for pedestrians to become vulnerable to collision episodes. A lack of public funds, a slowdown for essential engineers and construction staff, and a general move away to other priority areas in policy have really left a gap for the roads all over the country to become somewhat neglected in many areas. People are therefore left in a tricky predicament. Pedestrian accidents have become a natural consequence, and the issue does not appear to be going away.
The pandemic saw a definite rise in reckless driving. The roads were emptier and police patrols were few and far between because of all the associated anxiety with humans coming into close contact. This was a perfect storm that led to an uptake in dangerous driving with minimal consequences. With more people walking about in local areas for exercise and something to do, and less care taken on the roads, pedestrian accidents saw a natural increase.
This trend does not appear to have settled as of yet, with more accidents of this nature being reported than ever before. Despite things returning to more or less normal, and the roads once more busying up, the habits of daily walks and exploring areas on foot means more pedestrians. Mix this in with a return to normal driving levels, and the problem has only grown.
Similarly, reckless driving is often caused by drunk drivers. This has always been an issue on the roads, but it seems to have risen as people were drinking more at home and less out and about. Normal standards were blurred, and it is yet to balance out seemingly. This leaves pedestrians at risk of people getting behind the wheel inebriated, and it is happening more and more frequently.
Lack of Road Safety Awareness
The younger generations do not appear to have as much road awareness when it comes to what is safe and what isn’t. Young people, teenagers, and young adults in particular are a high risk category in this context. Road safety awareness is an essential life skill, but there is not as much focus on it as the years go by. There are many trends that have overtaken in terms of priority like cyber safety, technology skills, and equality issues. Road safety, while still highlighted as a core academic milestone area, does not have as much of a focus because new things are leading the charge.
Night Time Driving
When social gatherings were back on track, there was a definite increase in nighttime driving. Driving at night carries a unique set of risks like tired drivers, decreased visuals, and higher anxiety. All these components add up to an increased scope for accidents to occur. Pedestrians walking around at night should always try to make themselves as visible as possible and stick to the designated pathways so they are actively avoiding moving traffic.
Bigger and Faster Cars
The significant spike in popularity of bigger, faster vehicles like SUVs is definitely a contributing factor. These cars were not originally explicitly intended for general use on average roads, but instead for work purposes or specialist excursions. However, more and more households are acquiring these vehicles as a daily use mode of transport and family car. These are quite powerful vehicles and can cause real damage if involved in a pedestrian collision. Compared to other vehicle types, they are more dangerous in the hands of a less experienced driver.
There are more drivers on the roads which have led to an organic increase in pedestrian based accidents. It makes sense that with more cars on the road and more people driving, there would be a correlation between the two events. The infrastructure is busier, peak times are blurring into non-peak times and an increase in drivers means an increase in mistakes, poor driving decisions, and a decrease in general safety out and about.
What to Do If You’re a Pedestrian In an Accident
If you are a pedestrian that has suffered as a result of a vehicle collision, there are some courses of action to take. If you have been seriously injured, it is always worth seeking compensation. Finding professional representation is the only route to securing remuneration and support if you need to take time off work and pay expensive medical bills. The car owner is likely to move through their insurance provider, and there should always be police involvement too. It is a crime, after all, so the proper procedures are essential in order to achieve the best possible outcome. You will need to:
- Report the incident to the police as soon as possible.
- Get the contact information for any witness to the event.
- Try to take the driver’s details.
- Seek medical assistance if you need it, and even if you don’t feel hurt it is best to get checked over just in case.
- Find legal representation if you feel there is a call for financial reparations.
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. Post pandemic life has led to a shift in patterns across the world in driving, road user habits, and general life. Pedestrians are more at risk because there are a higher number of people behind the wheel using the roads, and less government spending on essential infrastructure. Post pandemic life is strange indeed, with concrete habits such as increased alcohol intake and higher anxiety sticking around for good now life is moving back to normality.