What’s causing the increase in pedestrian deaths?

A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls out a variety of factors responsible for the shocking surge in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2016—up 46 percent and the most deaths since 1990. They called out the increased use of SUVs as personal vehicles, lack of convenient and safe crossings, poor roadway lighting and inadequate headlights, excessive speed, and a lack of speed enforcement. Pedestrian fatalities have risen much faster than overall traffic deaths, which only increased by 11 percent during the same period. Pedestrians now account for 16 percent of all traffic deaths.

What’s causing the increase in pedestrian deaths?

A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety calls out a variety of factors responsible for the shocking surge in pedestrian fatalities between 2009 and 2016—up 46 percent and the most deaths since 1990. They called out the increased use of SUVs as personal vehicles, lack of convenient and safe crossings, poor roadway lighting and inadequate headlights, excessive speed, and a lack of speed enforcement. Pedestrian fatalities have risen much faster than overall traffic deaths, which only increased by 11 percent during the same period. Pedestrians now account for 16 percent of all traffic deaths.

Federally funded data as a speed-management tool

Another pedestrian fatality happened about two miles from SSTI Central when a car traveling over 100 mph hit a couple walking on the sidewalk along an urban boulevard. It is just one of some 40,000 traffic fatalities the United States is likely to see this year. SSTI has been interested in whether data now being provided to state DOTs in order to measure delay—the National Performance Management Research Data Set (NPMRDS)—might be applied to address speeding danger as well.

International review confirms speed management is critical to road safety

Speed reductions can lower crash risks significantly, confirms a new report by the International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental organization of 59 member countries including the U.S. The research report looks at 11 case studies in 10 different countries around the world. In every case, speed increases were associated with more crashes and more severe injuries, while speed decreases were associated with fewer crashes, injuries, and deaths. The relationships, however, are not linear.

Hit-and-run crashes are on the rise

Hit-and–run fatal crashes are increasing in the United States, and most victims are pedestrians and bicyclists. We don’t entirely know why these crashes are increasing, because studies are limited, and data regarding the characteristics of drivers and victims is not extensive. Many hit-and-run drivers get away. Witnesses may not be present. But after analyzing federal data, however, researchers at the AAA Foundation have identified a trend and searched the literature for some potential contributing factors.

Pedestrian deaths are a systemic problem in the U.S.

Pedestrian deaths hovered around 6,000 in 2017, according to a new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. That’s a slight drop from the previous year but still 45 percent higher than in 2009. Media reports have hyped a handful of theories to explain the recent uptick—namely, distracted cell phone use and marijuana legalization—but years of data from across the U.S. and abroad points to one clear trend. The more we design our communities mainly around the automobile, the more we drive, and the more dangerous roads become.

Report calls for a Safe Systems approach to reduce fatalities

A new report from the World Research Institute finds that the most effective way to prevent traffic deaths is a systemic approach that shifts responsibility away from the drivers and other road users to those responsible for roadway planning and designing, land use mix, providing mobility options, and enforcement of traffic laws. Analysis in 53 countries found that those that have taken a “Safe System” approach have achieved both the lowest rates of fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants and the greatest reduction in fatality levels over the past 20 years.

Report calls for a Safe Systems approach to reduce fatalities

A new report from the World Research Institute finds that the most effective way to prevent traffic deaths is a systemic approach that shifts responsibility away from the drivers and other road users to those responsible for roadway planning and designing, land use mix, providing mobility options, and enforcement of traffic laws. Analysis in 53 countries found that those that have taken a “Safe System” approach have achieved both the lowest rates of fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants and the greatest reduction in fatality levels over the past 20 years.

International perspective: Road safety, design, and alcohol consumption

A pair of international studies from Australia and the European Union examined roadway safety. A number of factors help explain why Australia’s traffic fatality rate is less than half of the U.S. rate. And strict blood alcohol content limits can reduce fatalities but must be coupled with supportive policies that reduce alcohol consumption overall.

Alcohol and gasoline prices: Their impact on traffic fatalities and the economy

Alcohol and gasoline prices are having unexpected impacts on traffic fatalities, as well as causing damage to economies. A study from an economics professor at Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana explored the relationship between per capita alcohol consumption and traffic fatalities, as well as the relationship between increased gasoline prices and traffic fatalities among young drivers (age 15–24).