Angie Schmitt, STREETSBLOG USA
Almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed on American streets in 2016, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2009.
The cause of the increase, however, has stumped some safety analysts. Groups like the Governors Highway Safety Association, for example, have advanced theories on “distracted walking,” without much evidence.
But a new study from a major group, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, points to real-world causes and practicable solutions. Using federal fatality and crash data, IIHS performed a regression analysis to examine “roadway, environmental, personal and vehicle factors” on pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2016.
One of the key findings was that not only are crashes involving pedestrians increasing, they are becoming more deadly when they do occur. The share of pedestrian crashes that were fatal increased 29 percent during the study period. One culprit, according to the study, was SUV drivers.
Here’s what researchers found: