As time passes by, our technology improves. This allows for a lot of incredible development in many different areas and industries. Specific to automobiles and traffic safety, it means that a lot of cars and trucks have advanced to a point where their safety equipment prevents a lot of injuries and deaths. This is why we have seen an 18 percent decline nationally in the traffic fatality rate from 2006 to 2015.
But what this statistic doesn’t reveal is how pedestrian fatalities have only increased during this period, and by a significant margin. In 2006, there were 4,795 pedestrian fatalities. But in 2015, there were 5,376 pedestrian fatalities. Similarly, bicyclist deaths increased during this time too.
So we have a declining overall fatality rate in traffic accidents, but the two most vulnerable groups out on the road are seeing an increase in their fatality rate? Something isn’t right here, and more needs to be done to protect people who choose to ride a bike or walk across the street.
Many fatal pedestrian accidents are preventable, too. Many drivers simply fail to look out for pedestrians at an intersection, which is a baffling notion when you consider all people are pedestrians at some point. Not every driver is going to be in his or her car every time they are trying to get from point A to point B. Hopefully in the coming years, we will see some dramatic improvements to road safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Source: pedbikeinfo.org, “Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Statistics,” Accessed Jan. 10, 2018