The number of pedestrian deaths that happen each year in the U.S. continues to rise. The trend flies in the face of all of the technology states, and large cities have introduced to the traffic patterns designed to make travel safer. Technology might be the reason why pedestrians are at the highest risk for a collision with a car in decades. Smartphone technology distracts pedestrians and drivers alike, encasing them in trances as they meander down roads, through intersections, and across streets. Counsel and Heal magazine argued that advanced technology might be the way to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents to zero, as cities like New York have envisioned.
Cellphone technology has driven pedestrian fatalities rates to record levels not seen in 30 years in the U.S. People have become addicted to their phones and no one has quite figured out how to convince motorists and pedestrians alike to put them down so they can watch what they are doing and where they are going. Educational campaigns and distracted driving laws call attention to the scourge and may convince some people to ignore their phones when driving. Stricter laws might raise revenue but have not achieved the desired result of eliminating distracted driving.
Counsel and Heal identify another problem that receives little, if any consideration when discussing the causes of pedestrian accidents. Counsel and Heal say that the deplorable condition of the infrastructure in the U.S. is a substantial contributor to pedestrian accidents. Counsel and Heal cites a study that suggests the overall safety rating of U.S. infrastructure deserves a D+ grade on an A to F scale.
Two other factors that contribute to the rise in pedestrian deaths should be noted. The first is the proliferation of larger vehicles like sports utility vehicles. Secondly, the overall population of the U.S. has increased which necessarily means that there are more cars on the road interacting with more pedestrians than ever before.
The solution could be to increase technology to combat human nature. Smart roads that contain sensors to control traffic flow and measure the need for infrastructure repairs can help as well as revamping the entire fleet of vehicles in the U.S. to include autonomous crash avoidance technology.
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