More and more data is being released around the pandemic and one particular point which is startling for traffic specialists, public safety, and overall the general public is the increase in the number of pedestrian deaths that have spiked year over year since 2020.
The New York Times recently published an article this week on the alarming statistics and they should serve as a warning for all.
Here are some of the takeaways from the article:
- Many are citing the increase in pedestrian deaths due to a rise in anxiety levels, pandemic drinking, and the fraying of social norms.
- Empty roads allowed some to drive much faster than before. Some police chiefs eased enforcement, wary of face-to-face contact.
- The Governors Highway Safety Association looks at this data using two different measures
- The first is simply the number of crashes. These killed more than 6,700 pedestrians in 2020, up about 5 percent from the estimated 6,412 the year before.
- The second is using the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT). This cited that pedestrian deaths jumped to 2.3 deaths in 2020 – an unprecedented 21% increase from 1.9 in 2019.
- Overall, traffic fatalities have spiked across the country as well. Nearly 32,000 people were killed in vehicle crashes in the first nine months of 2021, a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What can you do?
- Practice safer driving. This ranges from putting down your mobile phone while driving, using a safe ride app when out grabbing drinks with friends or family, and being extra cautious and aware of pedestrians while driving (especially at night!).
- Join pedestrian safety organizations or vote for politicians that are focused on implementing changes to help reduce these above statistics. In Rhode Island and South Carolina, there have been special projects implemented and proposed to help reduce these numbers. For example, Charleston, SC recently did a Better North Bridge Study to propose new changes in traffic and roadways. In Rhode Island, they recently finished the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge.
- Lastly, if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a pedestrian or traffic injury, please do not wait and reach out to us today. Call us at (888) 348-2735 or email us here