Pedestrian Deaths Hit a 30-Year High in 2018, Highway Association Says
More than 6,000 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2018.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 6,227 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2018, a 30-year high.
There are a number of factors why pedestrians deaths have reached their highest number in three decades, with one of the biggest being distraction caused by smartphones.
Compared to 2008, walkers and drivers used cell data 4,000 percent more often in 2018. When that happens, neither party is watching the road.
An increasing number of SUVs on the road has also contributed to the rising number of pedestrian deaths. The number of consumers buying light trucks – which are bigger, heavier and deadlier for pedestrians – has far outpaced those buying cars in the last five years, said Richard Retting, the author of the Governors Highway Safety Association report.
“Looking at the various metrics available, the ones that pop out to me are distraction related to smartphone use and the market share increase in SUVs,” Retting said. “There’s no question that pedestrians hit by SUVs are more likely to die than those hit by a car.
The deaths were disproportionately located in five states, with pedestrian fatalities in Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and California accounting for nearly half of the 6,227 dead pedestrians.
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