Pedestrian accidents are some of the most devastating accidents on the road. Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles often suffer life-threatening injuries, and many people do not survive the impact.

As such, there is a critical need to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in Connecticut and throughout the country. Unfortunately, this is not happening. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, there are two reasons that could explain why the number of fatal pedestrian accidents remains so high.

New trends, old mistakes

Rather than the number of fatal crashes decreasing because of increased safety technology, it remains steady at about 6,000 pedestrian killed per year. Authors of the report suggest that a consistent (or increasing) number of drivers who are under the influence of marijuana or who are distracted by their smartphones could be contributing to accident statistics.

The notion of impaired or distracted drivers causing accidents is certainly not new. However, because smartphones are relatively new and because marijuana laws in some states are becoming more relaxed, these factors could be playing an increased role in motor vehicle accidents. In other words, they represent trendy ways of making old mistakes.

Laws are not enough

Unfortunately, the laws that prohibit drivers from texting or being impaired behind the wheel have not been sufficient in stopping these behaviors. This is partly because of the challenges that come with enforcement.

Further, despite the fact that massive educational, legal and social awareness campaigns illustrate why drivers should not drive if they are high or distracted, people miss this message. Many motorists believe they can drive just fine after using marijuana because it’s not as impairing as alcohol. Or, they think that they are completely capable of multi-tasking. Both of these beliefs are generally incorrect.

What accident victims can do

If you or a loved one has been in a serious pedestrian accident and you believe that impairment or distraction is to blame, then you can discuss with an attorney your options for legal action. These drivers can and should be accountable for their actions when they cause damage.