Pedestrian deaths see slight increase in 2010: report

Washington – Pedestrian fatalities increased slightly during the first six months of 2010, according to a state-by-state report (.pdf file) released Jan. 20 by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The report was completed by Dr. James Hedlund, an independent researcher, formerly with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Preliminary statistics for the first six months of 2010 show a slight increase from 1,884 to 1,891 pedestrian fatalities during the same period in 2009. In contrast, NHTSA estimates that overall traffic fatalities dropped 8 percent during this period, according to the report.

Preliminary findings show pedestrian fatalities dropped to 4,091 in 2009 from 4,892 in 2005 at an average decline of 200 each year.

States that showed increases in pedestrian fatalities include California, New York, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and North Carolina.

GHSA officials voiced concern that pedestrian exposure and risk would increase as national focus on building walkable communities increases. The report also attributed the findings to increased distractions for both pedestrians and drivers, and offered a list of solutions to keep pedestrians safe.

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