Preliminary data collected and released (.PDF) by the Governors Highway Safety Association suggests that the past few years have been some of the deadliest years for pedestrians in decades. The data shows an increase in the overall number of pedestrians who are killed in motor vehicle wrecks in a number of states. Yet amidst these troubling numbers, the preliminary data did also reveal the presence of some promising trends.
Preliminary Statistics Regarding Pedestrian Fatalities
The GHSA’s preliminary data shows that approximately 6,227 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2018. Although the number of pedestrian fatalities had been increasing since 2009, the number represents a four percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths over 2017 and is also the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 28 years.
The data also showed:
- Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia all experienced a greater number of pedestrian fatalities in 2018 as opposed to 2019
- Texas, California, Florida, Arizona, New York, North Carolina, and Georgia each had over 100 pedestrians killed in crashes
- New Hampshire had the least number of pedestrian fatalities (only one) and California had the most pedestrian fatalities (432)
Finally, the preliminary data identified several factors that are believed to be responsible for the increase in pedestrian deaths:
- An overall increase in the general population
- Motorists and pedestrians using smartphones or allowing themselves to be distracted
- An increase in popularity of sports utility vehicles and light trucks, which are more likely to cause fatal injuries to a pedestrian in a collision
The Preliminary Data is Not All Bad News
The GHSA’s preliminary report noted that 23 states saw a decline in the number of pedestrian fatalities from 2017 to 2018. Not only this, the report found that the total number of pedestrian deaths in America’s ten largest cities declined by fifteen percent from 2017. This suggests that measures can be implemented by cities and states to help reduce the number of fatal pedestrian collisions.
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