Driving a car can come with inherent dangers, but those perils can extend beyond the wheel. Anyone in proximity to the road can be at risk, and the numbers show that it’s one of the most dangerous times to be around cars.

Pedestrians are dying at the highest rate in 30 years. Over 6,000 people on foot perished in 2018, while overall vehicular deaths are experiencing a slight decline. A smaller number of attentive drivers and larger cars add to the equation, but whatever the cause, these accidents lead to devastating results.

Looking the other way

Distracted driving causes thousands of car accidents every year. While automakers are trying to ramp up safety technology to compensate for unsafe conditions, the answers for pedestrians are still out of reach. The American Automobile Association (AAA) tested how effective some of these systems are for those on foot, and came away with a 40% failure rate during the day while driving 20 mph. Attempts at night showed them to be nearly useless.

Design flaws

What is making a difference in vehicles is their design. SUVs are more commonplace now than ever before, and their very design comes with dangers. A larger profile means a collision will more likely include the head and torso and result in a person being overtaken instead of cast aside. These larger vehicles also come hand-in-hand with larger engines and curb weights, which means more power combined with reduced control and stopping speed.

Life in the city

While cars change over time, so do the locations of these accidents, with the last ten years seeing a 34% increase in deaths in cities. And Atlanta is no outlier when it comes to these types of accidents, with a rate that is 2.5 times higher than the country’s average.

A vehicle meeting a pedestrian usually ends up with dire repercussions that can alter lives. Permanent disability, ongoing treatment and death are all on the table when an accident happens. If a driver acts negligently and causes serious injury or a fatality, then compensation could be in the cards.