According to a new report from Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization that represents state highway safety offices across US, in the first half of 2013 the number of pedestrian deaths on roadways has declined.
The report “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2013 Preliminary Data” says that in the first six months of last year the number of fatalities has slumped by 8.7 – basing its findings on preliminary data from 50 state highway safety offices and the District of Columbia. The decline is newsworthy, as unfortunately in the prior three years the number of pedestrian deaths related to highways incidents was on the rise.
“Roadways are primarily designed to accommodate motor vehicle travel, so pedestrians are clearly at a disadvantage,” said Dr. Allan Williams, who prepared the report. “Add in the mass differential when a pedestrian and a vehicle collide, and the consequences can be serious for the person on foot.”
“The 2008-2009 economic recession may have driven the recent uptick, as more people were walking to lower their transportation costs,” Dr. Williams said. “The focus on walking for health and environmental benefit also may have been factor.”
From 2009 to 2012, a period that saw a 3% decline in motor vehicle deaths actually saw an alarming rise in pedestrian deaths, which surged by 15%. Now, the findings of the preliminary report are in line with the 4% decline in total motor vehicle deaths the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forecasts for the same period.