Walking and running are generally considered to be activities good for one’s health. They can also provide positive, environmentally friendly alternatives to driving. Sadly, they seem to be putting more people in harm’s way. New data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that pedestrian fatalities across the United States have skyrocketed in recent years.

According to a report by CNBC, the U.S. recorded more pedestrian deaths in 2018 than in the prior 27 years. The rise in the number of people on foot who have been killed in vehicular accidents rose a tragic 41% between 2008 and 2018. While accident fatalities among pedestrians has grown, overall fatalities have reduced. This highlights the severity of the issue faced by pedestrians.

It seems that drivers’ affinity for large vehicles may be a contributing factor to the increase in pedestrian fatalities. The initial impact to a pedestrian when hit by a sedan or other small vehicle tends to be in the legs. However, when hit by a sport utility vehicle or other large vehicle, a pedestrian more likely sustains impact to their torso or head. Trauma to the head or the torso where vital internal organs are often results in more serious outcomes, up to and including death, than does trauma to the legs or feet.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Illinois residents information about the need to remain extra vigilant when on foot among vehicles as the risks faced by pedestrians today seem to be growing.