USA- Usa.streetsblog.com writes that in 2018, cyclists and pedestrians died in larger numbers nationally. Meanwhile, overall traffic deaths dropped thanks to the fact that people in cars are now safer than ever.
Data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 36,750 people were killed in traffic incidents in 2018, which is just one percent lower than in 2017. However, cyclist deaths jumped by ten percent in that time. Pedestrian fatalities increased four percent during the same period.
When it comes to explaining the reason that people in cars are safer while those outside of cars are more in danger, looking at the design of modern cars is a good place to start. SUVs are bigger than sedans that used to be popular throughout the nation. That added bulk is helpful when it comes to protecting people inside of vehicles, but its putting pedestrians in a perilous situation.
Another factor could be that many cities are pushing walking and biking to improve communities and commutes. In some cases, the message might be catching on before the infrastructure is improved to accommodate more vulnerable road users.
Many of America’s roads are made with cars only in mind. When engineers create streets that are made only for fast-moving automobiles, they put the other road users at risk. Bike lanes are not installed, and so cyclists end up sharing the road with cars. And with many motorists looking at their phones instead of the road, the risks are that much greater. Distracted driving is confirmed to have caused about 3,166 deaths in 2017.
In order to make the streets safe for people to walk and bike, speed limits need to be lowered, and infrastructure needs some pedestrian-friendly improvements.
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