Representatives of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) have expressed concern and alarm over a recent GHSA report that showed an increase in the number of pedestrian fatality accidents from 2017 to 2018. The GHSA report finds that 6,227 pedestrians died in fatal collisions with motor vehicles in 2018: 250 more pedestrians than were killed in 2017 and the most that were killed since 1990. It is a trend that appears to be increasing, which could mean that 2019 sees even more pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes.
Reasons for the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths
SUVs and smartphones are two of the main culprits identified in the GHSA report as leading to an increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. Motorists who utilize smartphones or other electronic devices while driving are less likely to see a pedestrian entering into their path or crossing the street in time to stop and avoid a collision. While the GHSA’s report noted that the majority of fatal pedestrian collisions involve passenger cars, there has been a noted increase in the number of SUVs involved in pedestrian fatality collisions. These vehicles are larger and heavier than many passenger cars, which means that pedestrians are at an increased risk of suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries in the event of a crash.
More Pedestrians May Equal More Fatal Collisions
The GHSA report also noted more people reported walking to work and suggested that an increased number of pedestrians may also be behind the increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities. As the populations of cities increase, and as more people seek to increase their steps each day as a way to curb pollution and promote their health. This would place more pedestrians on roadways and highways and, therefore, at a greater risk of being involved in a fatal collision.
The report was not able to draw a definitive link between any one factor and the uptick in fatal pedestrian collisions.
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