After years of inactivity and terrible obesity rates, many Americans are spending more time outdoors. The gradual movement of populations from the northern to southern states has also contributed to larger numbers of people outdoors. Unfortunately, drivers have not adjusted to the new influx of pedestrians and are buying bigger vehicles. Pedestrian deaths have continued to trend upward as a result.
Forbes estimates that in the past decade, pedestrian deaths have risen by 35%. Between 2008 and 2017, drivers killed more than 49,000 people. This is equal to a fully occupied jumbo jet crashing on a monthly basis with no survivors. What is interesting is that in 2017, total traffic crash fatalities declined.
Not surprisingly, most of the dangerous states for pedestrians are those in warmer climates, though there are some exceptions. This includes the following states:
- New Mexico
The CDC adds that in 2015 alone, 129,000 people were rushed to emergency departments to receive treatment related to crash-related injuries that proved to be non-fatal. It also reminds readers that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupants of a passenger vehicle. The reason for this is obvious: pedestrians have no protection while passenger vehicle occupants are enveloped in metal fitted with airbags and other lifesaving features.
Unfortunately, alcohol plays a role in 48% of fatal crashes involving pedestrians. In these instances, either the pedestrian, the driver or both were under the influence. Pedestrians also have a BAC over 0.08 in 33% of crashes involving pedestrian fatalities. Drivers had a BAC over the legal limit in 13% of crashes.