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Friday, 21st January 2011

New Study: Progress in Reducing Pedestrian Deaths Lags in 2010

New Study: Progress in Reducing Pedestrian Deaths Lags in 2010

Source:  Governors Highway Safety Association

A report released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveals that pedestrian fatalities increased during the first six months of 2010. While the increase is small – 0.4 percent – it is notable because overall traffic fatalities during this period were significantly down, and this comes on the heels of four straight years of steady declines in pedestrian deaths.

The new report – Spotlight on Safety: Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State – is the first state-by-state look at pedestrian fatalities for 2010 and was completed by Dr. James Hedlund, an independent researcher, formally with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Dr. Hedlund surveyed GHSA members, who reported preliminary fatality numbers for every state. For the first six months of 2010, pedestrian fatalities increased by seven, from 1,884 to 1,891. If the second six months of 2010 also show no significant change, this will be the first year of increase or no progress after four years of decline. Pedestrian traffic fatalities dropped from 4,892 in 2005 to 4,091 in 2009, an average decline of 200 each year.

While the slight increase may not seem particularly alarming, it is a concern given that during this same period overall traffic fatalities declined eight percent, according to the preliminary estimate from the NHTSA. A growing national focus on walkable communities and “get moving” health and fitness efforts may cause pedestrian exposure, and thus risk, to increase.

+ Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2010 Preliminary Data (PDF)


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