The Governors Highway Safety Association released its annual Spotlight on Highway Safety Report earlier this week and the findings concerning the projected pedestrian fatalities are nothing less than shocking.
After examining the preliminary data submitted by the 50 states and the District of Columbia to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the GHSA report projects that the final number of pedestrian fatalities in 2015 will be ten percent higher than in 2014.
To put this in perspective, consider that this is the single highest year-to-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever recorded.
Breaking the numbers down further, the GHSA report determined the following:
- 26 states, including New York, saw an increase in pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2015
- The five states with the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people during the first six months of 2015 were New Mexico, Florida, Delaware, Nevada and Louisiana.
- The four states that together accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2015 were California, Florida, Texas and New York
All of this naturally begs the question as to why 2015 is on pace to be such a horrific year for fatal pedestrian accidents.
According to the GHSA, multiple factors are to blame for this unsettling phenomenon:
- More people than ever are making walking their primary mode of transportation due to health, environmental and/or economic concerns
- More people -- pedestrians and motorists alike -- are regularly using cellphones to talk, text and surf the internet
- More people are driving due to an improved economy and lower gas prices
Perhaps not surprisingly, the report urges the states to make the construction of safe walkways, along with enhanced education efforts focusing on the dangers of distracted driving a priority going forward.
Here's hoping we start to see real change in 2016.
If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and your options for seeking justice.