Ohio Pedestrian Fatalities
Across the country, states are working towards zero preventable traffic deaths, and part of this initiative is reducing pedestrian fatalities. Preventable deaths are those caused by negligent behaviors and actions like speeding, drunk and drugged driving, and distracted driving.
Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that while the number of traffic fatalities fell from 2006 to 2015, they increased from 2014 to 2015. For instance, in 2006, 1,238 people died in traffic accidents, by 2014 fatalities had fallen to 1,006 but they increased again in 2015 to 1,110. From 2014 to 2015 unrestrained vehicle occupant deaths increased from 374 to 385, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities rose from 302 to 313, unhelmeted motorcycle rider deaths jumped from 91 to 112, and drivers under 21 involved in fatal accidents rose from 138 to 153.
Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths increased during the ten-year period from 96 to a high of 116 in 2015. Bicyclists deaths also increased from a ten-year low of 11 to a decade high of 25. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the majority of pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, but not at intersections. Measures that may improve pedestrian safety include traffic barriers that separate road users, pedestrian over- and underpasses, refuge islands, and sidewalks. Other measures include crosswalk alert beacons, better illumination and lighting, and improved intersection signal timing.
Drivers have a high duty of responsibility to pedestrians and other road users to remain focused on the road ahead as well as what is going on around the vehicle. Though newer vehicles can help with this, such as with backup cameras and crash avoidance system that works to stop the vehicle before an impact, these technologies are too new to determine how effective they are. Until these technologies are widely used and studied, driver’s must remain dedicated to safe driving.