According to a recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents increased yet again in 2019.

While the report is preliminary, if the estimates hold, there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths across the country in 2019. This is an increase of 5% over 2018, during which there were about 6,225 pedestrian deaths.

This latest increase in the number of deaths is part of a disturbing trend. The number of pedestrian deaths has been on a steady rise in the past decade. Since 2009, the number has increased by about 50%, while other motor vehicle accidents increased by only 2%.

For its part, New York is also on course for seeing an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths between 2018 and 2019. During the first half of 2019, New York reported 120 deaths, compared with 112 deaths in 2018. This is an increase of 7%.

While experts attribute the spike in pedestrian deaths to a number of factors, unfortunately, bad driving habits have contributed to this ongoing problem.

Distracted driving, including cell phone use and texting and driving, has caused a number of fatal pedestrian accidents, as has driving too fast and driving while fatigued.

Experts have also found that around half of all pedestrian accidents involve either a drunk pedestrian or an intoxicated driver. As any New York motorist should know by now, drunken driving is an extremely dangerous, and entirely avoidable, behavior.

New York families who lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident will have a lot to deal with besides their emotional shock and grief. A deadly pedestrian accident will frequently mean a family has to find a way to pay for a funeral and for any final medical bills. It could also mean the family loses a source of financial support.