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Smartphones blamed for increase in pedestrian deaths

New Jersey residents may be interested to learn that an estimated 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016. When compared to 2015, approximately 620 more pedestrians were killed last year. This is the highest total in the past 20 years.

The number of pedestrian deaths rose more than 9 percent between 2014 and 2015. From 2015 to 2016, the numbers rose an additional 11 percent. There are several factors that could potentially be behind the increase in pedestrian fatalities. Some analysts suggest that there are more drivers on the road due to an economy that has been improving over the last couple of years. Further, people are walking more either for exercise or due to an increasing concern for the environment.

However, many say that the biggest factor could be that pedestrians and drivers are becoming more and more distracted by smartphones and other electronic devices. Finally, alcohol is a factor as the numbers show that 34 percent of the pedestrians who were killed were under the influence. Alcohol use has not increased, meaning that it is believed that more and more pedestrian fatalities are being caused by distraction.

A fatal pedestrian accident caused by distracted driving could leave a household without a parent or child. If there is evidence that a driver involved in an accident was using their smartphone or other electronic device, a wrongful death attorney may help the surviving family members file a lawsuit against the driver. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the attorney may seek a certain amount in compensation. This could include the deceased person's medical costs, funeral expenses and lost income.

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