At a time when it seems more new vehicle technology centers around improving safety, one group appears to be kept anything but safe: pedestrians.
Data shows that the number of people on foot killed in vehicle accidents continue to increase in Indiana and across the country.
Pedestrian realities in Indiana
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 50 pedestrians died in Indiana in 2009, representing just over 7% of the state’s total vehicular deaths that year. In 2014, the state recorded 78 pedestrian fatalities, representing 10.5% of all vehicular fatalities.
A total of 101 pedestrians lost their lives on Indiana roads in 2017, accounting for 11% of all accident fatalities. Sadly, 2018 saw the trend continue as overall traffic deaths declined from 916 to 858 while pedestrian deaths jumped to 114, accounting for 13.3% of all deaths that year.
Pedestrian realities in the United States
Based on data from the first half of 2019, the Governors Highway Traffic Safety Association projects that pedestrian fatalities nationwide increased by 5% compared to 2018. The expected 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019 would represent a 60% increase since 2009. Between 2009 and 2019, vehicular fatalities overall increased by 2%.
Risks to pedestrians
According to Car and Driver magazine, preference among consumers for large vehicles like sport utility vehicles may well be a factor that contributes to the dangers experienced by pedestrians. These taller vehicles may inhibit a driver’s ability to see pedestrians. In addition, more pedestrians hit by trucks or SUVs die compared to pedestrians hit by sedans or smaller passenger vehicles.