Pedestrian deaths are rising in Louisiana and across the U.S. according to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Preliminary numbers show that 2018 might have been the deadliest year for pedestrians in almost 30 years.

GHSA analysts examined preliminary data gathered by state agencies over the first half of 2018. They estimated that around 6,227 pedestrians lost their lives on American roads last year, which is 250 more than died in 2017. The total also represents the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990 and a 51.5 percent increase from 2009, when 4,109 deaths were reported.

The report also found that more than 90 percent of pedestrian deaths over the last 10 years have occurred at night. As a result, the researchers said that communities need to invest in safer road crossing designs and public education campaigns. Meanwhile, the report pointed to recent increases in cellphone and SUV use as the primary causes for the spike in fatalities. SUVs became America’s best-selling vehicle type in 2014, and SUV-related pedestrian deaths have increased by 50 percent since 2013. In addition, smartphone use increased by over 500 percent between 2010 and 2017, meaning that more people than ever are distracted by their cellphones while behind the wheel or while crossing the street.

When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, they frequently suffer severe injuries that require weeks or months of medical treatment. In order to recover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages, it may be advisable for an injured pedestrian to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. An attorney familiar with pedestrian accidents might investigate the case, help prepare a claim and push for the maximum settlement possible. If a pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle, the attorney may help prepare a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim’s family.