pedestrian fatalities soared in 2015, previous data indicate ;
pedestrian fatalities increased by 10 percent last year as the economy improved, the gas prices sank and motorists put more miles behind the wheel than ever before, according to an analysis of preliminary mortality data traffic.
The increasing use of cell phones distract drivers and pedestrians may also be partly to blame, according to a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents security offices on roads the governors. The warmer weather and shorter winters, along with a greater awareness of the health benefits can also encourage people to walk more.
“This is really calming news,” said Richard Rettig, co-author of the report. “Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing problem throughout the country.”
Data were analyzed from the first half of 2015. If the trend is valid for the entire year, would be the largest increase year after year in pedestrian fatalities since 1975, when the current federal system for the registration of deaths traffic was created.
The report is based on reports from state traffic deaths, extrapolated for the whole year by researchers at Sam Schwartz Consulting, specializing in transportation.
There were 2,368 pedestrians were killed in the first six months of 2015, compared with 2,232 in the same period in 2014, an increase of six percent. The researchers reached an increase of 10 percent for the year by factoring in the deaths of the first half of the year underreporting is often, and for at least the last five years an average of 25 percent more deaths pedestrians were recorded in the second half of the year, including warmer summer months, Rettig said.
Total traffic deaths, that downward trend had in the last decade, also increased 8 percent last year. But pedestrian deaths have been increasing since 2005, and now represent 15 percent of all traffic deaths. The last time pedestrian fatalities accounted for as large a share of traffic deaths was 25 years ago.
Almost three quarters of pedestrian fatalities occur at night, and a third of the dead had been drinking, according to data National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In comparison, 15 percent of drivers involved in such accidents had alcohol content in the blood in the legal or upper limit.
In a related issue, the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents drivers of buses, estimates that approximately a pedestrian is killed every 10 days by a city bus because of blind spots in poorly designed bus. Wide “A”, the windshield pillars that connect the driver’s side window and side mirrors frequently misplaced hinder the vision of the intersections of drivers, according to the union.
“Until the industry requires a change in the design of buses to eliminate unnecessary blind spots as European buses, people continue to die in these accidents are preventable,” said Larry Hanley, president of the union.
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