Reasons for the Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities in the United States
UNITED STATES – According to a news report posted online by npr.org, safety experts have suggested some reasons for the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States. A report released this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) indicates that pedestrian deaths are at a near-three-decade high.*
GHSA states that in 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions in the nation. This number is the largest total for pedestrian fatalities in the United States in about 30 years. The report shows that a significant portion of the deaths happen in large cities, but they have the propensity to occur anywhere.
Experts say the largest influencers of the rising pedestrian death toll are distraction and large vehicles. Both drivers and pedestrians are increasingly distracted by their cell phones while on the roads, and more people are driving larger vehicles than in years past. Higher gas prices and fuel emissions strategies in the past attracted more people to compact cars than trucks and SUVs, but the large vehicles have made a comeback.
The total pedestrian fatalities could also be affected by growing populations. States with the highest numbers of pedestrian accidents also had large populations and sizeable population spurts. Georgia was among just five states that accounted for about 50 percent of the nation’s pedestrian fatalities. The other four states included Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona.
Yet one more potential reason for pedestrian fatalities is the current designs of roadways. More people are walking these days, but roadways are still designed for cars and higher-speed traveling.
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