Monday, March 24, 2014

Nationally, Pedestrian Deaths Drop After Three-Year Rise

After three straight years of increases that baffled experts, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the U.S. appears to be dropping. Compared with the first six months of 2012, pedestrian deaths fell 8.7 percent during the first six months of 2013, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says, citing preliminary data reported to the federal government by the states and the District of Columbia. There were 1,985 pedestrians killed in crashes in the first half of last year, down from 2,175 in January through June of 2012. Pedestrian fatality data for all of 2013 is expected later this year. Pedestrian safety experts, who were puzzled by the 15 percent, three-year jump in deaths—given it came while all other categories of road fatalities were dropping three percent—are just as stumped by the recent decline.

In Montgomery County, pedestrian deaths have totalled 11 in 2011, 6 in 2012, and 13 in 2013. The four year average (2010-2013) stands at 10.8, which is significantly below the three year average prior to the County Executive's Pedestrian Safety Initiative of 16.7 fatalities (2007-2009).

(Source for national data: USA Today, March 5, 2014, as reported in the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety eNewsletter, March 14, 2014. Local data from MCPD.)

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