Pedestrians Killed By Vehicles Highest In Nearly 30 Years

March 4, 2019

ID 12798867 © Robert Byron | Dreamstime.com

Some good reasons to put away your phone when walking along the sidewalk as a new report estimates the number of people hit and killed by a vehicle climbed to its highest level in nearly 30 years with Florida leading the nation in fatalities. Data reviewed by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that more Americans are opting to walk to work with a 4% increase in pedestrian traffic from 2007 and 2016 but estimates that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in 2017. That's up 35% from 2008 even as overall traffic deaths decreased by 6% in the same time period. In Florida, there were 5,433 pedestrian deaths in the 10-year span, which is an annual average of 2.73 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, creating a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) of 182, which is significantly higher than second most-dangerous state of Texas with 111.9 rating and California at 68.22 third. Pedestrian deaths had been declining for decades until 2009, when smartphone sales and data use began to spike.  Another spike in sales is also being blamed for pedestrian deaths.  The number of pedestrian deaths involving SUVs rose 50% from 2013 to 2017. SUVs and light trucks caused more deaths because the larger and taller vehicles tend to hit pedestrians in the head and upper torso, causing more severe injuries. However it is not just SUVs as passenger-car-related deaths increased by 30% from 2013 to 2017 with speeding, alcohol, distracted and drowsy driving the culprits. The report also says most deaths happen on local roads at night and away from intersections. Night pedestrian fatalities increased by 45% from 2008 to 2017, while daytime deaths rose 11%. The report is calling for municipal governments to evaluate pedestrian crossing patterns and consider installing crosswalks and lights even if there's no intersection as well as law enforcement and safety education campaigns to make sure drivers and walkers can safely coexist. As for our vehicles, most automakers have pledged to make automatic braking and pedestrian detection systems standard across their lineups by September of 2022.

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SOURCE: Daily Mail

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