Pedestrian Fatalities Rising in the United States
UNITED STATES – As reported online in a news story from forbes.com, pedestrian fatalities have been rising in the United States. In the timeframe between 2008 and 2017, more than 49,000 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the country. While cities are trying to become more walkable, more people choosing to walk are being killed.
The number of deaths from 2008 to 2017 breaks down to 13 deaths every day and one death every two hours. A recent report from Smart Growth America in conjunction with the National Complete Streets Coalition found that pedestrian fatalities have risen by 35 percent in the U.S. during the last 10 years.
“We’re killing an airliner’s worth of people walking each and every month, and these numbers are only increasing,” said Emiko Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “This is a wakeup call for all of us. No one should have to risk their life just to cross the street, yet that’s exactly what thousands of people have to do just to get around each day.”
The report also ranked which states in the U.S. have the highest rates of pedestrian deaths. The top 20 deadliest states for pedestrians included Florida (No. 1), Alabama (No. 2), Louisiana (No. 4) Mississippi (No. 5), Georgia (No. 6), South Carolina (No. 10), Tennessee (No. 12), and North Carolina (No. 13).
Certain demographics were more susceptible to pedestrian deaths, the report found, including elderly adults, people of color, and people in low-income neighborhoods.
“The good news is that we have the tools and know-how to fix this,” Atherton said, “but until we truly prioritize the safety of the most vulnerable people who use our streets, we will continue to see this preventable epidemic continue.”
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