How Many Pedestrians Have Died in the U.S.?

September 12, 2014

WJHG News reports that a pedestrian is in critical condition after a truck struck him near the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach in early September. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents such as this are too common. Last week, we discussed in a post about how Florida ranks number one as the most dangerous state for pedestrians.

According to Smart Growth America (SGA), more than 47,000 pedestrians died in the United States between 2003 and 2012. Additionally, pedestrians accounted for 15 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012. That percentage is up by 6 percent from the previous year.

How Can Pedestrian Deaths and Injuries Be Reduced?

SGA says, “Pedestrian deaths are preventable through better policy, design, practice and regulation.” Although it will help to design our roadways to be more accommodating towards people walking, the fact remains, more vigilant driving from motorists will help to reduce pedestrian accidents.

Florida law even says that it is the responsibility of the driver of a vehicle to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person (on a bike).” In other words, the driver has the responsibility to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists around his or her vehicle.

What Is Florida Doing to Make Its Roads Safer for Pedestrians?  

SGA ranked four of Florida’s metropolitan areas among the most dangerous places for pedestrians in the nation. In response to this, state transportation secretary, Ananth Prasad, has created a program called the Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative (BPFI). The purpose of this program is to promote safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Moreover, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) added 16 pedestrian and bicycle safety specialists. These specialists are tasked with planning safe street designs and promoting education and policies for pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Did You Know? Smart Growth America says that 68 percent of all pedestrian fatalities were on roadways funded in some part by federal money and designed according to federal guidelines.


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