US pedestrian deaths are a cause for concern

The increase in US pedestrian deaths is a cause for concern
Road Markings, Barriers & Workzone Protection / March 3, 2020 55 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
NYC has amongst the better records on road safety in the US - image © courtesy of Mike Woof

There is concern in the US over new figures showing that pedestrian deaths increased by 5% during 2019 compared with the previous year. The report from the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that pedestrian deaths reached 6,590 in 2019, compared with 6,238 in 2018.

However, research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that in the January to June 2019 period, total deaths from road crashes in the US fell by 3.4% compared with the same period in 2018. Improved vehicle technology is thought to be a factor in the reduction in the total number of road crash deaths.

The US has a comparatively poor road safety record compared with other developed nations. There are huge differences in tackling road safety from state to state and traffic rules and enforcement also vary widely. New York State (and New York City) for example has one of the better records for road safety in the US while Florida has amongst the worst.

The actual causes of crashes in the US vary widely, but DUI and distracted driving are known to be amongst the major factors. Facilities for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users can also be very poor in some areas.