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Pedestrian deaths highest in nearly 3 decades

When it comes to traffic safety, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that, across the board, traffic fatalities are decreasing. But the bad news is that we have entered a period of record highs for pedestrian traffic deaths.

The author of a recently released research study on pedestrian fatalities for Smart Growth America, a nationwide community growth organization, studied statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). She devised a nine-year period from 2008 to 2017 designated as the "pedestrian danger index."

During that period, there were 49,340 pedestrian deaths in the United States, the highest number since 1990. Yet unlike other more newsworthy crises, the problem has raised few distress flags.

The study's author says that a multipronged approach can reduce the number of deaths. She suggested making city blocks smaller with additional crossing opportunities, sidewalks and crosswalks designed with enough time for pedestrians to get across the street. Slower speeds can stabilize traffic patterns and well-designed roadways can enhance safety.

The report also seeks "federal funds, policies, and guidance ... to ... [fix] these streets."

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, it's likely you want a quicker resolution to your struggle than Congressional appropriations. Fortunately, if an at-fault motorist struck and injured you, you do have recourse available to you through the California civil court system.

The first step is to identify the liable motorist and their insurance company. Then, you will need to file a claim for damages. If your claim is not settled to your satisfaction, it might be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to keep your claim from proscribing.

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