What Motorists and Pedestrians Need to Know About the Rise in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in Wisconsin

empty crosswalk at nighttimePedestrian deaths appear to be on the rise in Wisconsin. The total number of pedestrian deaths rose from 50 to 75 in 2022, according to a report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Wisconsin saw the fifth-highest increase from 2021 to 2022 of all 50 states.

This trend is mirrored nationally, as there were 7,485 pedestrian deaths in 2021, which is a 12 percent increase over 2020. There were more pedestrian deaths in 2022 as well (7,508). In fact, the 2022 figure is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in more than 40 years.

Below, our Appleton car crash lawyers discuss some of the common reasons for pedestrian accidents, including when pedestrians are most at risk. We also explain what victims and their loved ones should do after these types of collisions.

Sigman Janssen is here to help crash victims. Call: (877) 888-5201 to learn more.

Why Are More Pedestrians Getting Killed?

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association report discusses several factors that may have led to an increase in pedestrian deaths, including:


Speeding is an ever-present threat to everyone who shares the road. Research reveals that speeding increased during pandemic lockdowns and this trend has persisted.

This has been bad news for pedestrians, as speeding was involved in 29 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2020 and 2021. This is a higher percentage than in the previous four years.

The proportion of speeding-related pedestrian deaths increased for the 35-44 and 75 and up age groups in 2021.

There is a 90 percent risk of severe injury for pedestrians who get struck by cars traveling at 48 miles per hour, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Alcohol Impairment

While drunk drivers cause their fair share of deadly accidents, drunk pedestrians put themselves at great risk of a fatal collision. In 2021 alone, more than 30 percent of pedestrians over the age of 16 who were killed in motor vehicle collisions had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit.

Lower Visibility at Night

Pedestrians are at greater risk of being hit by a car at night because drivers have a harder time seeing them. In 2021, 5,645 pedestrian deaths happened at night, compared to 1,430 during the daytime.

Even if an area has streetlights, they may be too dim, flickering off and on or not be working at all. Sometimes it may not be enough for pedestrians to wear reflective clothing; they may still be hard to see.

Lack of Sidewalks

In 2021, 68.7 percent of pedestrian deaths happened in areas where there were no sidewalks. This was the fourth year in a row that percentage increased.

If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians often have no choice but to walk in the street, increasing their risk of getting hit by a car. Unfortunately, many places were constructed to primarily accommodate vehicles and not pedestrians. These areas lack sidewalks, crosswalks, speed bumps and other measures designed to protect pedestrians.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents?

State and local governments could take numerous steps to make the roads safer for pedestrians and help lower the risk of fatal crashes. For example, doing more to educate drivers about pedestrian safety could help. Roadways and intersections can be redesigned to favor pedestrian safety over vehicle accessibility. Installing sidewalks and crosswalks is also an important step.

However, these are significant and expensive measures, and there is no telling when changes like these might take place. In the meantime, drivers and pedestrians can take extra precautions.

For example, pedestrians should never assume drivers can see them. Try to make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street, even if you are in a crosswalk.

Drivers should slow down in areas where there is heavy pedestrian traffic. Put your phone down and focus on the road in front of you. Avoid pulling into crosswalks and never assume that a pedestrian will use appropriate caution when entering the street.

Seeking Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident

If you were injured in a crash with a motor vehicle, the driver may be at fault. That means you may be eligible to pursue compensation from that driver’s liability insurance.

Crash victims are often unsure about going through the legal process. They may wonder if they even have a legitimate case. That is why it is vital to call a licensed attorney to discuss what happened.

At Sigman Janssen, we are dedicated to recovering full compensation for those injured by the negligence of others. Crash victims, especially pedestrians, are going to need compensation for the cost of medical care and other types of damages (lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, etc.).

Pedestrians who get hit by cars are at risk for significant injuries, including:

  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Lost limbs
  • Spinal cord/back injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Severe fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Severe bruising
  • Lacerations

Our attorneys have the resources and legal knowledge to investigate the crash, gather evidence of the other party’s negligence, evaluate your injuries and damages, and take additional steps necessary to pursue justice and compensation.

Injured By a Negligent Driver? Call Sigman Janssen Today

Sigman Janssen has helped many motor vehicle accident victims take legal action against the negligent drivers who caused their injuries. We know how to collect evidence and build a strong case to help us seek maximum compensation.

There are no upfront costs with our services, and we are not paid unless our clients receive compensation. The initial legal consultation is also free.

Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. Call us at: (877) 888-5201.