New GHSA Report: Pedestrian Fatalities Down for First Time in Three Years

According to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads has decreased for the first time since 2009. The report compares pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2013 with those that occurred during the first six months of 2012. There were 190 fewer overall pedestrian deaths in 2013 (an 8.7% decrease) and the states that saw decreases outnumbered states with increases. In addition, there were also more states with large decreases. Most importantly, the report shows a reverse in a three-year trend of increasing pedestrian fatalities.

States with the highest number of fatalities in 2013 are those with high populations and large urban areas, while more rural states had the lowest percentages of pedestrian deaths. States across the country are approaching the pedestrian fatality issue with a combination of solutions, including pedestrian-friendly roadway engineering, driver and pedestrian education programs and increased enforcement. In communities across the country, automated camera enforcement like red-light and speed safety cameras are holding drivers accountable for illegal actions that endanger pedestrians, with the ultimate goal of improving driver behavior.

Although the report offers promising news, GHSA says that its work is really just beginning. ““The preliminary findings are good news, but it’s too soon to celebrate” says Kendell Poole, GHSA Chairman and Director of the Tennessee Office of Highway Safety. “Recognizing that the safety of all roadway users is a priority for the association and our members, we must remain focused on pushing the numbers down in all 50 states. With distraction an increasing issue for both pedestrians and motorists, pedestrian safety continues to be a priority in many areas of the country.”