• Aug 7th 2012 at 9:47PM
  • 17
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The typical pedestrian death occurs in conditions like this:

It takes place in an urban area. It takes place at a point along the road other than an intersection or crosswalk. It occurs in good weather. It happens most often on Fridays and Saturdays, sometime after 4 p.m. The victim is a male.

That was the composite that emerged from a report on U.S. pedestrian fatalities released Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sixty-nine percent of pedestrian fatalities were men in 2010, the latest year for which complete statistics were available. Seventy-two percent occurred in urban areas, 72 percent were not at a crosswalk and 89 percent occurred on clear or cloudy days with no precipitation.

For the first time in five years, the annual number of pedestrian deaths climbed. NHTSA said 4,280 pedestrians died in 2010, a 4 percent increase from the 4,109 killed in 2009. An estimated 70,000 were injured.

"Most people are pedestrians at some point in their day," NHTSA administrator David Strickland said in a written release. "That's why we're reminding the pubic to take precautions and use crosswalks or intersections whenever possible."

Pedestrians accounted for 13 percent of the overall 32,885 traffic fatalities in 2010, an uptick of one percent from the prior year. On average, a pedestrian is killed every two hours in the U.S., according to the report.

Florida was the state with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths, with 2.58 occurring per 100,000 residents. It was followed by Delaware (2.45), Arizona (2.28), South Carolina (1.94) and Hawaii (1.91).

The safest states for pedestrians largely lie in middle America: Nebraska (0.44), Kansas (0.52), Wyoming (0.53), Iowa (0.59) and Idaho and Vermont (0.64).

NHTSA's statistics do not include bicyclists or pedestrian deaths that occurred on private property, such as parking lots and driveways.

While the increase caused concern among experts who worry about a rise in distracted driving, the overall number of pedestrian deaths has fallen in seven of the past nine years. In 2001, 4,901 were killed on U.S. roadways, compared to the 4,280 in 2010.

Over the past decade, 46,390 pedestrians were killed in America, roughly the equivalent of running over the population of Farmington, New Mexico or Grapevine, Texas. It was the safest decade on record.

In 1990, the number of pedestrian deaths was 6,482. In 1980, the 8,070 pedestrian deaths were the highest ever recorded in a single year, according to NHTSA statistics.

As the number of pedestrian fatalities increased toward that 1980 number throughout the previous decade, Susan Baker of Johns Hopkins University spoke on the issue of walking at an annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in 1973.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, she remarked: "How can you kill 10,000 Americans a year without public outrage? ... Run them down with a hundred million cars."

Although it was not addressed in Monday's report, a previous NHTSA report issued in June 2008 found although the number of pedestrian crashes was decreasing, the probability of a fatality had increased in the ones that did occur.

Next month, NHTSA hosts a global safety standard meeting, at which the organization is expected to propose safety rules that would force auto manufacturers to alter hood designs that better absorb force in collisions between cars and people.


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  • 17 Comments
      jeanie w
      • 3 Years Ago
      well, it IS FloriDUH after all!
      fentex5
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's just part of the Floria "Stand your ground" mentality. Next thing we know, Grandpa will be crossing the street with his walker and a loaded automatic pistol.
      fecoyle
      • 3 Years Ago
      A lot of those pedestrians in Florida cant read english & some of the rest cant read.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only way to stop this is to institute the death penalty for drivers who kill pedestrians or bicyclists. The motorists think only of themselves and their desire to get to the nearest store, the ball game, whatever. American drivers are a selfish criminal class. They are driving a 2000 or 4000 lb weapon down the roadway, yet everything that happens to them is "an accident". They don't care, they have insurance to pay for it, with premiums that are paid by other people who don't kill or "have accidents". We have been mollycoddling criminals for too long in this country. It has got to stop. The Iranians have the right idea: Islamic Justice! If they speed, cut off their right foot. If they kill somebody, squish them with a semi truck and leave the bloody pulp by the roadside for all to see. All these "bible believers" who run over somebody, then expect to be "forgiven"! Keep to the Bible and do proper justice, as Jesus and Mohammed intended. God is not mocked! "My God is an angry God", all the more so when trying to cross the street!
        swimdude1978
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mohammed, you sound like you're off your Meds. Go take your meds, say 30 hail Allah's and go to bed early. You need your rest to not be so cranky...
      petpetdonna
      • 3 Years Ago
      Florida IS God's waiting room anyway. The old people can't drive and now they can't walk.
      jddistribution
      • 3 Years Ago
      Live in Florida and not suprised. Many pedestrians here believe they "OWN" the roads. They jaywalk at will and many times will challenge a driver in a parking lot or crossing the roads (and not necessarily at the intersections either). Another favorite is for them to walk on the streets at night in a neighborhood instead of the sidewalks. And no the sprinklers aren't on so they would be avoiding getting wet. Have been here since 1972 and it's getting worse and worse. Granted the quality of driving herte isn't the greatest either.
      Buckingham's
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess I won't be walking anywhere in Florida. Now I know why Florida ends in DUH.
      Paul
      • 2 Years Ago
      A lot of pedestrians dont even look both ways when stepping into the street. I constantly see peds cutting across a street not using the cross walk.A lot of dead peds feel they had the right of way and expect cars to stop.Kids love to intimidate cars by walking out in front of them.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Drivers believe they own the roads. The roads are part of the "commons", which means we all own them. I challenge the drivers to attempt to walk and cross streets in the areas you complain about. See how the roadways are designed without considering the needs of walkers or other non-motorized transportation. Texas is especially bad about having even sidewalks. Try walking around Houston or Dallas or any other city (other than right around Austin's capital building). Tell me how often you have a "close call" when trying to cross the street. We all own the roads. The roads need to accommodate all of us.
      pj512
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if a lot of the deaths in Florida are tourists. I've figured that when you go on vacation, your brain does too. But just about every day I see someone trying to cross a busy highway, usually just a few feet from a legitimate crosswalk. We've had several people get hit in the Atlanta area over the past year, and I don't think one driver has been charged.
      jkraszkowski
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pedestrians in Florida are some the dumbest I've ever seen. They cross the street between moving traffic, walk behind your vehicle when you are pulling out, walk in the street, not on the sidewalk and in general, like to challenge cars...not understanding that it's easier for a pedestrian to come to complete stop than a vehicle. With that being said, many communities in Florida don't have (a) properly marked crosswalks (b) wide enough sidewalks (c) sidewalks, period (d) traffic lights that allow sufficient time to cross wide intersection or (e) proper control of traffic flow...these all things that engineers can improve on, yet choose not to. The statistics are worse than this article shows, because the data does not include accidents on private driveways, and there are many deaths in Florida on driveways, especially of children in strollers.
      leathersak
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great. People have, for years all over the U.S., walked into roads without looking or caring, paying no attention to anything while drivers have done the same. Walkers or drivers don't own the road and people should be careful when out--things forgotten in these times where no thinks of anyone slse except themselves and believe a car will stop on a dime. All these deaths are just the result of arrogance and this is the outcome of that arrogance--maybe people will use their brains rather than attitudes for their own safety from now on.
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