Pedestrian deaths are on the rise, hitting a 33-year high, according to a recent report. The Highway Safety Association claims that the number of pedestrian deaths was 6,000 last year across the nation. The statistics also show that other traffic-related deaths are decreasing.
Los Angeles is one of the key hotspots for pedestrians, which are either being severely injured or killed.
The city is an important factor in the number of deaths because Eric Garcetti, the mayor of the city, has been working endlessly over the past two years in an effort to end traffic fatalities. The issue is that the number of deaths, for pedestrians walking in LA, has risen to 134 people in 2017.
The number is the highest it has been in 15 years.
“According to the CDC, in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 70,000 pedestrians were injured in pedestrian crashes throughout the country – which amounts to a pedestrian accident injury every 8 minutes,” writes the Law Office of Henry Queener.
Several factors play into the increase in pedestrian deaths. One factor is the width of the streets, which may span four or six lanes from end-to-end. Traffic signals in some areas are short, leading to pedestrians either running through the crosswalk or not making it to the other end before the traffic light changes.
Pedestrians with younger kids or animals are even at a higher risk because a second lost can mean the difference between being struck or making it across the street.
Speeding is another issue. Many drivers are not adhering to traffic signals and are speeding through cities, accidentally hitting pedestrians. Drivers are also allowed to make a right turn when the traffic signal is red, and since drivers aren’t paying close attention to traffic signals, this often leads to close calls or pedestrians jumping out of the way.
Sometimes, pedestrians are hit in the process and killed.
Alabama is also facing a rise in pedestrian deaths. The state ranks eighth in pedestrian deaths, with more Americans being killed by automobiles than any time in the past 25 years.
Alabama had 59 pedestrian deaths between January and June 2017, with a rate of deaths of 1.21 deaths per 100,000 people. The highest number of deaths were recorded in Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas. These five states accounted for 43% of all pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2017.
A few years ago, pedestrian deaths accounted for just 11% of all motor vehicle deaths. This number has since risen to 16%, a rise of 5%. The estimated number of pedestrian deaths between 2016 and 2017 didn’t rise, with estimates of 5,987 and 5,984 deaths respectively.
Experts warn that the number of deaths is no coincidence and claims that this is a red flag.
The link causing higher deaths hasn’t been stated, but experts suggest that a rise in smartphone usage may be a cause for the increase in deaths. Drivers and pedestrians are both known to be on their smartphones more often, leading to a higher risk of distraction and death as a result.