Pedestrian fatalities from drivers are a serious public health issue. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 6,378 pedestrian fatalities in the United States, a 5% increase from 2019. This represents the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the last 30 years.
The majority of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas, with 72% of all pedestrian fatalities happening in cities and towns. In addition, pedestrian fatalities are more likely to occur at night, with 75% of pedestrian fatalities occurring in the dark. Furthermore, a large number of pedestrian fatalities happen at intersections, with over 40% of pedestrian fatalities occurring at or near an intersection.
There are a number of factors that contribute to pedestrian fatalities from drivers. One of the main factors is speed. Research has shown that a pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour has a 95% chance of survival, whereas a pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 40 miles per hour has only a 20% chance of survival.
Another factor that contributes to pedestrian fatalities is the use of alcohol and drugs. According to data from the NHTSA, in 2020, 35% of all pedestrian fatalities involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher, and 21% of pedestrian fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.
Another major factor that contributes to pedestrian fatalities is distracted driving. According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2020, distracted driving was a factor in approximately 20% of all pedestrian fatalities. This includes distractions such as using a cell phone, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving.
To address the issue of pedestrian fatalities from drivers, several interventions have been proposed. One of the most effective interventions is the use of speed cameras, which have been shown to reduce pedestrian fatalities by an average of 34%. Other interventions that have been proposed include the use of red-light cameras, the implementation of Complete Streets policies, and the use of automated enforcement technologies such as automated speed enforcement and automated red-light enforcement.
In conclusion, pedestrian fatalities from drivers are a serious public health issue that requires immediate attention. To reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities, it is essential to address the factors that contribute to these crashes, including speed, alcohol and drug use, and distracted driving. Through the use of interventions such as speed cameras, Complete Streets policies, and automated enforcement technologies, we can work to reduce pedestrian fatalities and make our roads safer for everyone.