Over the past quarter-century, residents in Connecticut have shown a greater interest in staying active than before. People are also biking and walking more often to locations for fitness, financial and environmental reasons. Unfortunately, the increase of pedestrians on the streets coupled with a return of larger vehicles to U.S. roads has led to rising death tolls for pedestrians during that time.
NPR notes that the nation hit its 25-year high for a second consecutive year at the start of 2018. More than 6,000 pedestrians were struck and killed in 2017. This shows a 27% increase from where numbers stood even in 2007. The only good news here is that the death toll is not rising as steeply as before.
While only 30% of Americans live in these five states, they accounted for 43% of the death toll in the first half of the year:
- New York
Another interesting find in the study is that people of color were most likely to die in these types of accidents. People of color make up less than 35% of the population but more than 46% of pedestrian deaths. One example of this is in South Dakota. Native Americans made up 38% of pedestrian deaths, while only representing 5% of the population.
CNBC identified America’s love for pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers as one reason for the rise in fatalities. As gas prices go down, the purchase of these vehicles has increased. Because they are bigger and heavier, the chances of a person’s survival are slimmer than if the person was hit by a car or motorcycle.
Pedestrians are advised to pay close attention, especially at intersections and when crossing the street. Note that cellphone distractions are often just as deadly for pedestrians as drivers. While pedestrian awareness may not put an end to the rising death toll, it may help them to spot drivers who are not paying attention before it is too late.