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Michigan pedestrians are at greater risk of deadly crashes than ever

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Personal Injury

Choosing to walk places can be a very responsible decision. It is more cost-effective to travel by foot than it is to drive everywhere, especially in the Greater Grand Rapids area. There are many walkable neighborhoods where people can comfortably travel on foot even during the coldest months. Additionally, walking can be good for the body and good for the planet by reducing how much fuel someone burns.

Unfortunately, while pedestrians may feel like they have made a smart choice, they may also unwittingly put themselves at increased risk of injury or premature death. Pedestrian crash rates around Michigan have increased substantially in recent years. Collision statistics show that the risk of a pedestrian getting hurt or dying in traffic is the highest it has been in decades.

Dozens of pedestrians die each year in Michigan

According to data reported late in 2023, there has been an alarming increase in pedestrian deaths across Michigan in recent years. Between 2020 and 2022, there was a 17% rise in the number of pedestrian fatalities reported around the state.

Researchers also noted that October was the deadliest month for pedestrians in Michigan. These tragic cases contribute to an alarming national trend, which sees roughly 20 people die after leaving for a walk or job every single day somewhere in the country.

In 2021, there were 183 pedestrian deaths, and there were approximately eight injuries for every fatality. The state recorded 1,453 pedestrian injuries in 2021, and preliminary data from 2022/2023 indicate the risk levels have not much improved.

Obviously, people should not have to give up walking or jogging just because other people don’t make safety a top priority. However, those who intend to be out on West Michigan roads may need to think about how to keep themselves safe. Choosing roads with lower speed limits, crossing at obvious locations and even wearing visibility gear could all help reduce someone’s chances of a pedestrian crash. If a driver does strike a pedestrian, then the injured person or their surviving family members may have grounds for an insurance claim or possibly a lawsuit.

Ultimately, understanding what activities create the most personal risk may help people prioritize their safety out on the streets.