Articles Tagged with pedestrian deaths

With distracted driving becoming a life-threatening hazard on our roadways, it may come as no surprise that pedestrian accidents and fatalities are increasing as well. While vehicle safety enhancements have helped to protect drivers and passengers in the event of an auto accident, pedestrians are still just as much at risk of injury and death. Now, a national report shows that traffic-related pedestrian accident deaths are overall increasing—including in Maryland.

A Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report releasing preliminary data for the first half of 2018 showed Maryland pedestrian accident deaths rose by 25 percent between 2017 and 2018 — from 48 to 60 deaths. While some states have made strides to increase pedestrian safety and reduce fatalities, the GHSA projects an overall 4 percent increase in traffic-accident pedestrian fatalities for all of 2018. More than 6,200 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways last year—disturbing pedestrian fatality numbers that haven’t been seen since 1990.

The increase in traffic-related pedestrian fatalities has traffic safety and public health officials very concerned. The causes for the increase in pedestrian accidents and deaths vary, with dangerous driving and walking at nighttime topping the list. The GHSA attributes the national rise in pedestrian accident death to key factors, including…

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It’s become an all-too-common sight in Baltimore and communities across Maryland: People walking down the sidewalks and crossing the street with their heads down, looking at their cell phones. Researchers suggest that “distracted walking” — combined with the deadly trend of distracted driving — has contributed to an increase in pedestrian traffic accident injuries and fatalities across the country. Some statistics to make us all look up and take notice:

  • The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that nationally, pedestrian accident death rates are rising faster than motor vehicle crash fatality rates.
  • CBS News reports that last year, some 6,000 pedestrians died in U.S. traffic accidents.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that pedestrian accident fatalities increased by 9.5 percent in 2015 — the highest numbers seen since 1996.
  • NHTSA reports that in 2014, of the 442 total traffic accident fatalities in Maryland, 101 were pedestrian accident deaths.

Maryland has made some positive strides in recent years to curb pedestrian injuries and deaths due to traffic accidents. In fact, preliminary data show that pedestrian fatalities in Maryland and Washington, DC, had decreased for the first six months of 2016. However, far too many people in Maryland are still sustaining serious injuries and losing their lives in pedestrian traffic accidents, which represent roughly one-fifth of our state’s motor vehicle accident fatalities. The 2015 Maryland Highway Safety Office Annual Report states that, “Over the past five years, an average of 106 pedestrians have lost their lives and 2,477 were injured each year as a result of a crash. This loss of life represents 20 percent of all of Maryland’s traffic fatalities.”

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