Whether a person is walking in the Big Apple, Long Island, or on the tree-lined streets of Tuscarawas County, pedestrians are under siege. Statistics show that three out of all ten people who died were walking when they were struck by a car. Some counties across the nation have seen a doubling in the number of people killed while walking according to the timesreporter.com. The problems in other states are a microcosm of the problems Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” faces in New York City.
A pedestrian is a term that is more inclusive than a person who is walking on the street. Pedestrians, for statistical purposes, include bicycle riders and people in wheelchairs, and in 2019 pedestrian deaths in the United States marked a 30-year high. In 2019, 6,590 pedestrians died in collisions. The question is, “why?”
The Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, said that most of the pedestrian crashes that result in the death of the pedestrian happen at night on local roads. Most frequently, fatal car crashes involving pedestrians happen some distance away from an intersection and not within a crosswalk.
Motorists’ unsafe driving is the primary reason for the increase in pedestrian deaths. Motor vehicle operators who speed, operate while distracted by a cell phone, texting, GPS, or even playing with the radio, along with driving while sleepy, constitute tremendous risks for pedestrians. Moreover, nearly 50 percent of all fatal car crashes involved either impaired motorists or pedestrians.
The type of vehicle involved in the pedestrian accident determined the amount of damage. Sports utility vehicles are more likely to kill a pedestrian than a passenger car because of the vehicle and height of the SUV.
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