New Hampshire Pedestrian Statistics
While fatal traffic crashes have fallen significantly over the past 40 years, pedestrian deaths remain far too high. In fact, these types of deaths account for 15 percent of all traffic deaths across the nation. However, New Hampshire saw a drop in the number of non-vehicle occupant deaths, from 95 in 2014 to 114 in 2015.
However, unrestrained vehicle occupant deaths increased, drunk driving and speed-related deaths increased, unhelmeted motorcycle rider deaths increased, bicyclist deaths stayed the same and pedestrian deaths decreased from 12 deaths in both 2013 and 2014 to 8 deaths in 2015.
The majority of these deaths occurred in Rockingham County with 3 fatalities, while Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, and Sullivan Counties each had one fatality.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), sidewalks, barriers, over and underpasses, and refuge islands all work to reduce risks, but there is more that can be done, such as –
- Improved intersection signal timing
- Pedestrian traffic beacons
- Increased lighting
- Reduced speed limits
The impact of a vehicle, even going at slow speeds, can cause severe injuries, especially to the head, pelvis, and abdomen. For this reason, vehicle design, as well as crash avoidance technologies may decrease the severity of injuries. Some vehicles assist when backing up, which helps prevent pedestrian backovers, while some newer model vehicles may automatically engage the braking system before an impact can occur. Still, these technologies are still too new to know exactly how effective they may be.
Still, no matter how much car makers improve safety features, road safety is also the responsibility of drivers. It can’t be said enough that drunk and drugged driving takes lives, as does speeding and distracted driving. Staying focused on the duties of driving, including being aware of what’s going on outside your vehicle is your responsibility, and until all drivers commit to their responsibility, accidents will continue.