Another study has confirmed that U.S. streets are not getting safer for pedestrians. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that the number of walkers killed on roadways hit a 33-year high in 2017, even as all other kinds of traffic deaths decreased.
“Despite the apparent leveling off of pedestrian fatalities, 2017 is still on par to become the second consecutive year with nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths,” according to Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting, who authored the report. “The last time the U.S. saw more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths was 1990.”
The report uses state data to provide preliminary pedestrian fatality numbers before the official count by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which will be available later this year. FARS data estimated in late 2017 that 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016.
According to GHSA’s 2017 data, five states—California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona—account for nearly half (43 percent) of all pedestrian deaths, and Arizona had the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities.
Interestingly, the state of Hawaii, where Honolulu lawmakers are ticketing people for using phones in crosswalks, has the lowest rate of pedestrian deaths per resident, according to this data. There was just one walker killed in the entire state in the first half of 2017.
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