Pedestrians in Washington do their best to keep themselves and their family members safe, but every so often tragedy strikes. According to CNN, in 2018, the deaths that resulted from accidents involving pedestrians was the highest it has ever been since 1990. The estimate for 2018 now stands at 6,227 pedestrians killed by car crashes. This represents a 35 percent spike from prior years. It is also reasonable to conclude that for the thousands that were killed, thousands more were injured.

But what is it that could account for this spike in pedestrian deaths? CNN points to two main factors. The first is that more people are taking to the streets on foot. The second is unsafe driving behaviors. Distracted driving continues to rise and is one of the biggest contributing factors. However, there are other unsafe driving habits that can turn crossing the street into a death sentence. These include driving under the influence and driving without adequate rest.

It surprises no one that nighttime is the most unsafe time to cross the street. In fact, in the past decade, 90 percent of the overall increase in pedestrian deaths was due to crashes that took place after dark. To make matters worse, in 2017, half of pedestrian fatalities involved alcohol consumption of either the driver or the pedestrian.

While money will not bring loved ones back or undo lifelong disabilities caused by bodily injury, the good news is that most states require bodily injury liability insurance. CNN points out that this type of insurance should help to cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and — in the worst-case scenario — the death of loved ones. Even so, what happens when people drive without insurance or on suspended drivers’ licenses?

Thus, insurance is often like placing a Band-Aid on an open gaping wound and expecting it to go away. To reduce pedestrian deaths, states might see better results from educating drivers and pedestrians of all ages on the importance of walking and driving safely, without impairment and without distractions.