Pedestrian Deaths Increased in 2010. Why?

Text Distraction

NHTSA recently published pedestrian traffic safety anlysis based upon 2010 data.

The 4,280 pedestrian fatalities in 2010 were an increase of 4 percent from 2009, but
a decrease of 13 percent from 2001. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13
percent of all traffic fatalities, and made up 3 percent of all the people injured in
traffic crashes.

Highway fatalities continue to decline, so what accounts for the increase in pedestrian deaths? The Washington Post believes it's from pedestrian distraction, such as text messaging. Is that the only factor in play? Probably not, but pedestrian distraction is something researchers are investigating.

"When Distracted Road Users Cross Paths" examines the relationship between distracted drives and distracted pedestrians. The authors conclude, " Ultimately, a safe roadway environment depends on all road users paying attention to where they are going and being aware of other users who might be sharing the road."

"Distraction and pedestrian safety: How talking on the phone, texting, and listening to music impact crossing the street" from the March 2012 issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention studies how college students are affected by the use of handheld multimedia devices while walking. The researchers conclude that policymakers should consider ways to better protect distracted pedestrians.

More articles about pedestrian distraction can be found on TRID.