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New Study Suggests Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities

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Jonathan Hernandez2 years ago

Preliminary data suggests a surge in pedestrian deaths in 2015.

Details about the New Study

Multiple sources are reporting that pedestrian fatalities saw a surge of as much as 10 percent in the last year. The surge in the amount of wrongful deaths of pedestrians who were killed is likely due to the improved economy, which leads to the drop in the price of gas and an increase in the amount of time people are spending time on the road.

Another factor in the increase in pedestrian fatalities could be the growing use of cellphones, which distracts both driver and walkers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Other factors include warmer weather and shorter winters and the greater awareness of the health benefits of walking rather than driving. All of these things may lead to an increase in the amount of walkers and may also lead to drivers and walkers being more distracted during their commute.

The data used to make these connections was only from the first half of 2015, but the trend usually hold true for the rest of the year. If the trend continues once the rest of the data for 2015 becomes available, it would be the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian deaths since 1975 – when the current federally recognized system for recording traffic deaths was initiated.

The current report is based on data from state fatality figures, which was then extrapolated for the rest of the year.

Findings of the Study

The data showed that there were a total of 2,368 pedestrians who were killed just within the first six months of 2014, compared to the 2,232 who were killed during the same time period in 2014.

Researchers involved in the study have determined that there was a 10 percent increase in the number of fatalities for the entire year by taking into consideration that fatalities that happen in the first half of the year are usually underreported.

The total number of traffic deaths in general is also up an estimated 8 percent from the previous year. Pedestrian fatalities now count for a total of 15 percent of all traffic deaths in the United States – the highest ratio in 25 years.

About 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen after the sun goes down, and about 33 percent of those who were killed had been drinking alcohol.

42 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in 2015 happened in four states – California, Florida, Texas, and New York. 


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