Residents of Texas should know that the number of pedestrian deaths here continues to rise. The same has been true for the entire country since 2009. Now, the Governors Highway Safety Administration has made a preliminary analysis of traffic deaths in 2019 using data from the first half of that year, and it has found that the trend continues.

Specifically, it estimates that there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019, which is 5% higher than in 2018 and 60% higher than in 2009, when 4,109 pedestrians died. It’s the highest that the number has been since 1988. Texas, along with California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida, accounted for 47% of all fatalities. The highest fatality rates per 100,000 people were recorded in New Mexico, Hawaii and Florida while the lowest were in Idaho, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Between 1988 and 2009, pedestrians deaths were on the decline. Its steady climb is unequaled as all other traffic deaths rose but 2% from 2009 to 2018. To explain this unusual trend, the GHSA mentioned several factors in its report, such as warmer weather and the greater number of drivers who are distracted by their phones. It also brought up how there are more SUVs and light trucks on the road: vehicles that are twice as likely to kill pedestrians as ordinary cars are.

Those who lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but they may want to see a lawyer beforehand. Accident attorneys usually have a network of crash investigators and other third parties who can help build a case up with the necessary evidence before negotiations begin. Attorneys can normally handle those negotiations, too. If their suit is successful, families may be compensated for pre-death medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of support and more.