More Pedestrians Were Killed in Car Crashes in the United States
Every month, pedestrians lose their lives on the highways of the United States. We’d like to think roads have more pedestrian-friendly features and cars are safer, but this does not seem to be the case. More pedestrians were killed last year in the United States than in 2015, according to new statistics.
The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) published its Traffic Safety Facts for 2016 report in October.
Not only were there 1,976 more deaths from motor vehicle crashes in 2016 than in 2015—a 5.6-percent increase, but pedestrian deaths also spiked last year.
The report found pedestrian fatalities rose by 492 (a 9 percent increase), and are at their highest number since 1990.
The figures are alarming because after years of steady decreases traffic fatalities rose in both 2015 and 2016.
The Governors Highway Safety Association noted in its report that in the decade up to 2016, pedestrian deaths as a percentage of total motor vehicle crash deaths rose from 11 percent to 15 percent.
Pedestrian deaths rose in 34 states and fell in 15, the report noted. Figures from the first six months of 2016 which compared that year with the first six months of 2015 found Virginia recorded one of the largest rises in pedestrian deaths – 35 percent.
A rise of almost 25 percent was recorded for the same period in neighboring North Carolina.
Virginia has a host of programs that are intended to boost safety for walkers and cyclists. Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties along with the cities of Roanoke, Richmond, and Salem receive highway safety funding to raise awareness of and enforce pedestrian safety laws.
Virginia’s Street Smart Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program promote walker and bicyclist safety. Drive Smart’s Bicycle Pedestrian Awareness Week is part of the grant project for the past couple of years. This is an important educational awareness program that encourages drivers to look out for the bicyclists and pedestrians.
There is certainly scope for more programs on this nature to be implemented in Hampton Roads where pedestrians are killed with an alarming regularity as they cross the road.
In just one week this year, we noted fatal pedestrian accidents in both the cities of Chesapeake and Hampton.
If you have lost a loved one who was mown down by a car or a truck in Hampton Roads or been seriously injured, please call our Hampton Roads pedestrian accident injury lawyers at (757) 333-3333.