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New Report Rips Inadequate Response to Rising Pedestrian Fatalities

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Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. have shot up over the past 10 years, and a new study claims that authorities aren’t taking the problem seriously enough.

From 2008 to 2017, more than 49,000 pedestrians were killed. In 2016 and 2017 alone, pedestrian deaths totaled 12,000.

A number of factors have led to this increase in fatalities. These include driver distraction, roadway design that’s unfriendly to pedestrians, and vehicle speed. The rising popularity of SUVs is another culprit, as pedestrians are less likely to survive being hit by one of these vehicles than by a car.

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Pedestrian Crossing the Road

The new report from the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America says local, state, and federal governments should be doing more to improve pedestrian safety — and notes that minorities, the poor, and the elderly bear the brunt of the danger.

The study’s authors say improved road design is a basic step governments could take to make conditions safer. Inadequate crosswalks, lanes that are too wide, and roads that allow vehicles to travel too fast all contribute to an unsafe environment for people on foot.

According to the study, 18 states have actually planned for an increasing number of pedestrian deaths and injuries instead of taking steps to improve safety.

The study urges governments to take specific steps to consider the safety and wellbeing of all road users during transportation planning, not just drivers.

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News Source: Detroit Free Press