Vehicles are safer than ever — from advanced air bag technology to rear-end impact warning systems and sophisticated anti-lock braking systems, new vehicles are equipped with all sorts of safety features to help prevent crashes or lessen the likelihood of serious injury after a crash. So if vehicles are safer than ever, why have we seen a spike in pedestrian accidents, particularly in Albuquerque?
“Cars are becoming safer, and I think there’s a complacency that comes with that,” state traffic safety advocate Scot Key said. “The streets are not.”
Pedestrians are killed on our roads at one of the highest rates in the entire nation and it’s primarily Albuquerque that’s to blame. Albuquerque experienced over 400 pedestrian accidents in 2018 with 34 deaths. That means that of the 68 fatal accidents in the city in 2018, half of those who died were pedestrians. This number accounts for nearly half of all the fatal pedestrian accidents in the entire state.
New technological advances in car safety have been accompanied by technological advances elsewhere — from Bluetooth enabled phones to video players to the explosion of smartphones, drivers have plenty of opportunity to be distracted by technology. And distracted drivers are dangerous drivers. All it takes is a brief moment when a driver diverts his attention away from the road and those walking on it to turn his vehicle into a weapon.
As a matter of fact, experts lay much of the blame for the rise in pedestrian deaths with the rise in smartphone use. This makes logical sense — even though safer cars mean safer environments for drivers, these safety features will not save a pedestrian from a driver who is texting or looking through Facebook posts. All the air bags in the world will not help someone walking in a crosswalk if a driver is distracted.
The lawyers at Smith Templeman Law Firm represent pedestrians who have been injured by distracted and drunk drivers. If you or someone you love has been hurt when walking on our streets, give us a call at (505) 433-1583.
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