Pedestrian fatalities in Ohio soar by 124 percent in 2015

Pedestrian fatalities in Ohio have soared by 124 percent, more than in any other state.

Last year will likely go down as a bad one for pedestrians in the Buckeye State. According to the Dayton Daily News, pedestrian fatalities in Ohio jumped by a staggering 124 percent during the first six months of 2015. While fatal pedestrian accidents also increased across the United States, Ohio's increase was well above the national average and makes it the state with the biggest jump in pedestrian deaths percentage-wise. Officials say the dramatic increase was likely due to a mix of factors, including bad weather, cheap gas prices, and distracted driving.

Pedestrian deaths more than double

The report from the Governors Highway Association found that there were 56 pedestrian deaths in Ohio in the first six months of last year. That is more than double the 25 pedestrians who were killed during the first six months during 2014. Percentage wise, Ohio saw the most dramatic increase in pedestrian deaths in the country, at 124 percent. Data for the latter half of 2015 has not yet been analyzed.

The picture for pedestrians was also fairly grim nationwide last year. During the same six-month period overall U.S. pedestrian fatalities rose by six percent. There were 26 states, including Ohio, that saw pedestrian fatalities increase. As the Columbus Dispatch notes, one piece of silver lining for Columbus residents in particular may be that although pedestrian fatalities rose statewide, they actually declined slightly in Columbus last year, from 12 in 2014 to 11 in 2015.

Bad weather and cheap gas

Last year's bad weather likely contributed to the high pedestrian fatality rate in Ohio. Officials note that many pedestrian accidents occurred while pedestrians were walking in the street because sidewalks were slippery or covered in snow or while they were standing outside of their disabled vehicles. The low price of gas was also a contributing factor since it led to an increase in overall traffic.

The high number of deaths are also a reminder of why motorists need to be extra aware of pedestrians, particularly when visibility is low. About 70 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night when pedestrians can be hard to see. As a result, drivers should refrain from distracted driving and always drive at a safe speed. According to one study, a pedestrian has just a 15 percent chance of surviving being struck by a car traveling at 40 mph.

Personal injury law

Staying safe is important for all road users, whether they be motorists, pedestrians or cyclists. When an accident does happen, the consequences can include serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial hardship. A personal injury attorney can help those who have been hurt in a crash. By talking to an attorney today, accident victims will have somebody on their side advocating for their rights and guiding them through their legal options moving forward.