A pedestrian has been seriously injured in Knoxville after a driver struck him and then fled the scene last Tuesday night. Police officers responded to a call of an alleged hit-and-run accident at Washington Pike near Broadway at approximately 10:20 p.m.

According to officer investigation and evidence at the scene, a pedestrian was crossing Washington Pike in the crosswalk toward the Pilot gas station when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver of an older model red Chevy Cobalt fled the scene east on Washington Pike, according to officers.

The male victim was sent to UT Medical Center in serious condition, according to the Knoxville Police Department. The accident remains under investigation.

Pedestrian fatalities on the rise

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities across the country have increased by more than 50% in the past ten years. The GHSA predicted that more than 6,500 pedestrians lost their lives in 2019, the highest number in more than 30 years.

Pedestrian deaths also accounted for 17% of all traffic deaths in 2019. And although motor vehicle technologies have increased the survivability of vehicle occupants who are in accidents, pedestrians remain vulnerable to catastrophic injury and death when struck by a motor vehicle.

Visibility and distracted driving cited as key factors

Most pedestrian accidents occur on local roads at night and away from intersections. Although pedestrian fatalities occurring at all times of the day and night have gone up in the past 10 years, nighttime incidents occur more frequently, and have increased by 67% compared to only a 16% rise in daytime incidents. Unsafe driving behaviors such as distracted, drowsy, alcohol or drug-impaired driving occurred in nearly half the reported incidents in 2018.

A pedestrian struck by an SUV is twice as likely to die as one hit by a car. Passenger cars remain the largest category of vehicles involved in fatal pedestrian accidents, but pedestrian fatalities from SUVs have increased by 81%, a much higher rate than those from passenger cars.

When a pedestrian has suffered catastrophic injuries after an accident involving a negligent driver, it is essential to get dedicated and experienced legal support to aggressively pursue claims from insurance companies, and, if necessary, go to court to obtain the maximum financial compensation that you deserve.