Pedestrian deaths are becoming explosively more commonplace

Pedestrian deaths - Police Car - Police Tape - Accident

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report shows a spike of 46 percent in pedestrians killed.

Pedestrian deaths have now risen to their highest point in 28 years, according to a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report. The IIHS report showed that the more the U.S. increases its arterial roadway use, the more people are killed.

Arterial roadways in urban-suburban areas saw a 50 percent spike in deaths at non-intersections.

The IIHS report also showed that there was a 56 percent increase in pedestrian deaths when it was dark out. SUVs were found to be the vehicles most likely to be involved in killing a pedestrian. In 2016, almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed. That was an increase of 46 percent over the low point in the United States, which occurred in 2009.

In 2016, the country experienced the highest number of pedestrians killed by vehicles since 1990. During that same span of time, there was an 11 percent increase in the overall number of traffic fatalities. This shows that there is a markedly higher growth in the rate of pedestrians being killed by vehicles than there is in traffic deaths.

The rate of pedestrian deaths grew the most when it was dark outside and mainly on specific types of road.

For instance, the rate of pedestrian deaths increased the most on roads that were designed to channel suburban or urban traffic onto freeways, said the IIHS. The vehicle crashes with pedestrians occur most frequently in areas where crosswalks are badly designed or where there are no intersections at all. These are areas where walkers are most likely to try to move quickly through a number of lanes of traffic in which there are many rapidly moving vehicles.

Pedestrian deaths - Police Car - Police Tape - AccidentThe study showed that the accidents are most common with SUVs or vehicles that have a lot of horsepower. This indicates that excessive speed may also be a component.

“This analysis tells us that improvements in road design, vehicle design and lighting and speed limit enforcement all have a role to play in addressing the issue,” said David Harkey, IIHS president in a statement about the pedestrian deaths report.

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