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Pedestrian deaths spiked in 2016. Distraction is partly to blame, early data shows

PBS NewsHour

Pedestrians walk over a crosswalk in Cambridge, Massachusetts. WASHINGTON -- Pedestrian deaths are climbing faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 deaths last year -- the highest total in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday. Increased driving due to an improved economy, lower gas prices and more walking for exercise and environmental factors are some of the likely reasons behind the estimated 11 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in 2016. The figures were prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. But researchers say they think the biggest factor may be more drivers and walkers distracted by cellphones and other electronic devices, although that's hard to confirm.


U.S. pedestrian deaths spiked 11% in 2016; distraction, alcohol cited

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – Pedestrian deaths are climbing faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 deaths last year -- the highest total in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday. Increased driving due to an improved economy, lower gas prices and more walking for exercise and environmental factors are some of the likely reasons behind the estimated 11 percent spike in pedestrian fatalities in 2016. The figures were prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety offices. But researchers say they think the biggest factor may be more drivers and walkers distracted by cellphones and other electronic devices, although that's hard to confirm. Walking and miles driven are up only a few percentage points, and are unlikely to account for most of the surge in pedestrian deaths, said Richard Retting, safety director for Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants and the author of the report.


Smartphone use, impairment blamed for rise in pedestrian deaths

FOX News

Pedestrians navigate their way through barricades amid heightened security before the start of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S., Sept. 17, 2017.


Are Our Roads Ready for Self-Driving Cars?

Slate

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. On Monday morning, the inevitable happened: A self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian for the first time.


San Diego could do more to reduce pedestrian deaths, audit says

Los Angeles Times

San Diego police and transportation officials are not doing enough to protect pedestrians from being injured and killed, a lack of attention to detail and data that is contributing to a rising number of fatalities, a city audit has found. Auditors said 270 people died on San Diego streets over the past 15 years, and the frequency is climbing. The three-year period between 2013 and 2015, when 66 pedestrians lost their lives, was the deadliest since 2001, according to the report released Thursday. "During that time, more pedestrians were killed than any other type of roadway user," the audit said. The 116-page report said police do not enforce traffic laws in ways that would help reduce injuries and fatalities.