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Pedestrian death rates were on the rise last year, data shows

We recently wrote about early data suggesting that Colorado's traffic fatality rates rose sharply in 2015. Deaths from motor vehicle accidents were up nearly 10 percent compared to the previous year.

These statistics were consistent with nationwide trends. And the problem was not limited to accidents between vehicles. Preliminary data reveal that pedestrian deaths also increased by an estimated 10 percent in 2015. One group, the Governors Highway Safety Association, believes that the increase can partially be attributed to both driver distraction and pedestrian distraction.

Cell phones and other electronic devices are frequently being used behind the wheel, despite widespread knowledge that distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk. And while they pose less risk to others, pedestrians put themselves in serious danger when they choose to pay attention to their phones while crossing streets rather than focusing on traffic.

A significant number of pedestrian fatalities may also be attributed to an unrelated yet pressing problem. According to estimates from the Amalgamated Transit Union, the group that represents city bus drivers, blind spots on buses result in one pedestrian fatality every 10 days. Design of the frames surrounding the windshield and poorly placed mirrors may be contributing to unnecessarily large blind spots. European buses have apparently already fixed this design flaw, but change has been slow or nonexistent in the United States.

Most pedestrian accidents are preventable, and pedestrians deserve the same expectation of safety as drivers do. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, please discuss the details of your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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