NEW YORK, N.Y. — Experts opine that distractions and larger vehicles are the two most significant reasons why pedestrians and bicycle riders are dying so often in accidents across the United States. According to an article appearing in the New York Times, seventeen pedestrians and two bicycle riders die on average in the United States in collisions with motor vehicles. According to the New York Times, which cited statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2018 was the deadliest year for pedestrians and bike riders since 1990. Vehicle safety features, seatbelt use approaching 90 percent, and fewer drunk drivers have made vehicular traffic safer and lowered death tolls. However, pedestrian fatalities grew by 3.4 percent from 2017, and cyclists’ deaths rose another 6.3 percent. *
The question metropolitan areas like New York City grapple with as they try to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents to zero is identifying which steps to take will help stop the carnage taking place in our roads. Advocates say that creating smaller or narrower roads, slowing traffic by lowers speed limits, increasing traffic signals, and developing areas designed exclusively for pedestrian use will help stem the tide.
There are two issues that politicians can do nothing about that also caused the number of deadly pedestrian accidents to increase over the last twenty years. Distracted driving and distracted walking have become huge issues to overcome for stakeholders. Around ten percent of all fatal crashes involve at least one person distracted by cellphone use. Additionally, the size of vehicles on the road compared to 1990 increase the death rate for pedestrians and bicycle riders.
SUVs and pickup trucks are everywhere. These vehicles do a tremendous job putting the safety of the occupants first but contribute to killing people walking or biking. SUVs and pickups have higher grills that tend to knock people down and then run them over instead of tripping them onto the hood. Furthermore, SUVs and pickup trucks have larger blind spots than the average sedan, thereby concealing pedestrians and bike riders from view.
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