Cars crashing into each other is bad, 100 percent. We would all like to avoid this. And we should also avoid hitting pedestrians with our cars, because that’s really bad, too. Apparently, it happened a lot last year.
New data from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that there was an estimated 11 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities last year, reports the Associated Press, reaching almost 6,000 deaths.
From the story:
The report is based on data from all states and the District of Columbia for the first six months of 2016 and extrapolated for the rest of the year. It shows the largest annual increase in both the number and percentage of pedestrian fatalities in the more than 40 years those national records on such deaths have been kept, with the second largest increase occurring in 2015. Pedestrian deaths as a share of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 11 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2015.
The association attributes increased driving because of cheaper gas and better fuel economy and more people walking for exercise as some of the likely reasons for this.
Other researchers, however, say that the biggest factor could be the fact that more and more drivers and walkers are distracted by things like cell phones and other electronic devices while out and about, though that’s difficult to confirm.
“Just as we need drivers to be alert, pedestrians have to be, too,” said Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the National Safety Council.
The AP story notes that 34 percent of pedestrians and 15 percent of drivers involved in fatal collisions were intoxicated at the time. And also that the problem is most pressing in urban places, where walking is common:
Delaware, Florida and Arizona had the highest rates of pedestrian deaths relative to their populations, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming had the lowest.
Guys! Whether you’re walking or driving—pay attention! It really could make all the difference. We all just have to wait a little bit longer before the machines come and take over driving for good.