FORT MEYERS, FL- Fox4now.com reports that one person has been killed in an early morning accident on U.S. 41. The pedestrian was attempting to cross the southbound lanes at around 5:30 a.m. when a car struck and killed them. According to investigators, the victim had on dark colored clothing, no reflectors and did not use the crosswalk.
Authorities have not yet released the name of the victim.
Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities are common. In the United States, about one pedestrian fatality occurs every 2 hours. In 2017, the total number of pedestrians killed was 5,984, which is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in America in the past 33 years. The number of pedestrians killed by vehicles has continued to rise even while other forms of traffic-related deaths have been lowering.
One possible cause of the increased pedestrian fatalities could be the fact that more pedestrians are distracted now and are focusing on their cell phones even as they cross the street. This is what is indicated by the fact that Hawaii’s rate of pedestrian fatalities is extremely low. Lawmakers in Honolulu have instituted laws that penalize pedestrians for walking across the road while using their phones.
The decline of other forms of traffic-related fatalities shows that cars are getting safer, but roads are getting more dangerous for walkers. Since 2007, traffic deaths decreased by 14% in every category other than pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities during that same time period have increased by 27%.
One of the proposed ways to address this issue is by reducing vehicle speed in areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic. For instance, is a car is traveling at 20 miles per hour, there is a 90% chance of a pedestrian surviving being hit. When a car is traveling at 40 miles per hour, the survival rate plummets to just 20%.