18 Jul Pedestrian Related Accidents Are on the Rise
Walking is supposed to be good for your health. But it turns out that it can be treacherous. The number of pedestrians that were killed in just one year rose by over 10 percent.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, overall traffic fatalities are up by 6 percent. So it made sense to expect a rise in pedestrian deaths.
But they definitely didn’t expect pedestrian deaths to outpace other traffic-related fatalities, let alone by such a wide margin. The exact rise is 11 percent, a full 5 points higher than overall deaths.
In the last year, almost 6,000 pedestrians diet in traffic-related accidents. That’s the biggest increase that has ever been recorded.
Why the Increase?
Experts at the National Safety Council, or NSC, say there are several factors involved in the rise.
- More cars on the road due to lower gas prices and a strong economy
- Increased cell phone usage
- Road speed
- Alcohol and other substances that impair judgment
Pedestrians and drivers both frequently check their cell phones. It’s not unusual to see people with their eyes down, checking messages, instead of looking ahead for potential hazards.
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The problem of distracted drivers has received a good deal of media attention. But traffic specialists at the NSC say distracted walking is equally risky.
Road speeds are also part of the problem. If a pedestrian is hit by a car going 20 mph, he has a 10 percent chance of getting killed. If the car is going 40 mph, he stands an 80 percent chance of dying.
Alcohol is also a big part of many fatal accidents. About 15 percent of the pedestrians that die in traffic-related accidents were hit by a driver who was drunk. But more surprising is the fact that 34 percent of pedestrians that die are drunk, with a blood-alcohol level over .08.
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