A new report from GHSA predicts that 6,590 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2019, the highest number in more than 30 years. (Figures by state, below.)
David Zuby, Chief Research Officer of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [IIHS] states that “the report from GHSA is further evidence of the urgent need to assess how we can better protect pedestrians now and what strategies we should implement in the future. The problems contributing to the rising number of deaths are well known. As the report points out, major roads often lack convenient and safe crossings, fast-moving vehicles make for more frequent and deadlier crashes, and dimly lit roads compound the dangers at night.
“Providing more options for pedestrians to safely cross busy roads would make a difference. Broader use of speed cameras to enforce speed limits is a proven solution. Another obvious solution is better headlights on vehicles because so many of these crashes happen at night. Longer-term strategies include building new infrastructure with the safety of all road users in mind, equipping all new vehicles with automatic emergency braking technology with pedestrian detection, and redesigning the front ends of SUVs and pickups to make them less hazardous when collisions are unavoidable.”
Eddie Wren, Executive Director of Road Safety USA adds: “This is something we have been highlighting for several years, in relation not only to the fact that vastly more mid-block crosswalks are needed in the USA, in relation to most towns and cities, but also that existing crosswalks are often severely sub-standard and unsafe by international best-practise standards.”
The GHSA figures for pedestrian fatalities are available by state.