New Projection Shows Record-Breaking Number of Pedestrian Fatalities

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New Projection Shows Record-Breaking Number of Pedestrian Fatalities

Walking on the streets should be a safe and routine activity, but recent data reveals a concerning rise in pedestrian fatalities in the United States. According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the year 2022 witnessed the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1981. Read on to learn more about the key findings of the report, shed light on the contributing factors, and explore potential solutions to address this growing concern.

New Report Reveals Disturbing Statistics on Pedestrian Fatalities

The comprehensive report published by the GHSA unveils unsettling statistics regarding pedestrian deaths. In 2022, drivers struck and killed at least 7,508 pedestrians in the United States. This figure represents a 1% increase from the previous year and highlights a disturbing trend of rising pedestrian fatalities. The report also highlights a significant safety disparity: pedestrian deaths have surged by 77% since 2010, compared to a 25% increase in all other traffic-related deaths.

Analyzing the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the GHSA report paints a somber picture of pedestrian safety. Most pedestrian fatalities occur at night, with approximately 77% of fatal crashes happening in the dark. This trend has intensified in recent years, with nighttime fatal crashes increasing by 86% since 2010, compared to a 31% rise in daytime pedestrian deaths.

Understanding the Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Fatalities

Several factors contribute to the alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities. The report highlights the role of dangerous driving behaviors, which have surged since 2020, further endangering pedestrians. It is crucial to address these behaviors, such as speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving, to ensure the safety of people on foot. Additionally, the choice of vehicles plays a significant role. While passenger cars remain the primary vehicles involved in fatal pedestrian crashes, SUVs and light trucks have witnessed a disproportionate increase in pedestrian deaths due to their larger profile and greater weight.

Nighttime Dangers

Nighttime poses a significant risk for pedestrians, accounting for the majority of fatal crashes (roughly 77%). With approximately 20% of pedestrian fatalities occurring during daylight and only 3% during dawn or dusk, it is evident that improved visibility and enhanced safety measures are necessary to mitigate these risks. Implementing better lighting infrastructure and promoting the use of reflective clothing can help enhance pedestrian safety during nighttime hours.

SUVs and Light Trucks

The surge in pedestrian deaths involving SUVs and light trucks is a source of alarm. Over the past decade, pedestrian deaths in crashes involving SUVs have risen by 120%, compared to a 26% increase in crashes involving passenger cars. Ensuring pedestrian-friendly design features and implementing measures to mitigate the risks associated with larger vehicles can potentially help protect pedestrians from collisions with SUVs.

Racial Disparities in Pedestrian Fatalities

Pedestrian fatalities disproportionately affect people of color. Although specific data for 2021 was not available, analysis of previous years reveals a disturbing trend. According to the data, the number of pedestrian deaths reported as White non-Hispanic has declined, while the proportions for Black non-Hispanic and Hispanic pedestrians have increased.

Speeding

Speeding continues to pose a substantial threat to pedestrian safety. In fact, approximately 8.1% of pedestrian fatalities in 2021 involved speeding drivers. Education, enforcement, and stricter penalties for speeding violations should all work in conjunction with one another to reduce pedestrian fatalities caused by traveling at excessive speeds.

High-Risk Locations for Pedestrians

According to the study, certain locations pose a higher risk for pedestrians. Non-freeway arterial roads, characterized by high traffic volumes and speeds, accounted for 60% of all pedestrian fatalities in 2021. Freeways also pose a significant danger, with over 1,300 pedestrian deaths occurring on these roadways.

The GHSA 2023 Annual Meeting

The GHSA report emphasizes the importance of adopting the Safe System approach to improve pedestrian safety. This comprehensive approach includes designing and building safer roadways, engaging with vulnerable populations, focusing traffic enforcement on dangerous driving behaviors, and educating drivers about their responsibility to yield to pedestrians. By incorporating Safe System principles into pedestrian safety initiatives, we can, hopefully, create a safer environment for pedestrians and reduce the number of tragic incidents on our streets.

Taking action to address the increase in pedestrian deaths requires collaboration and exchange of ideas. This August, the GHSA 2023 Annual Meeting will bring together traffic safety experts, public health officials, law enforcement representatives, government leaders, and business professionals in New York City to collaborate with one another to discuss strategies to best protect pedestrians and leverage the Safe System approach.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated NYC personal injury lawyer from the Law Office of Richard M. Kenny today.

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Our entire legal team is dedicated to providing the advice you need and the personalized attention you deserve. If you have been injured due to another party’s negligence, call 866-886-0892 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a New York City personal injury lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensation, which can help you on your road to recovery.

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