AARP has a troubling article about the recent increase in pedestrian fatalities. Check it out. Here are the opening paragraphs:
The consequences of walking while intoxicated can be as fatal as getting behind the wheel if you’re not on the sidewalk, and in 2018 more pedestrians ages 45 to 64 died while drunk than any other age group, according to a report released Thursday.
In second place for pedestrian fatalities with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, the legal threshold for drunken driving, was the 55-to-64 age bracket, the Governors Highway Safety Association report showed.
“Whether you are walking, driving, bicycling — whatever you’re doing — if you choose to imbibe, drink alcohol, you’ve got to recognize that it impacts your reaction time, motor skills and a lot of other things,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, the association’s senior director of external engagement and special projects. Although “you’re not behind the wheel, you’re impaired, and there’s a potential for negative impact.”
The total number of drunk pedestrians who died in wrecks was more than double the number of drunk drivers who killed people out for a walk, the study shows.
Using a ride-hailing app, calling a cab or even having a designated walker to help keep an inebriated person off the roadway all can work toward decreasing the number of drunk pedestrian fatalities, Fischer said.
Pedestrian fatalities in general also grow
Walking while drunk isn’t the only worry. Across the country, the number of pedestrian fatalities no matter the cause has increased by more than 50 percent in the past 10 years.
Using 2019 preliminary data from the U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., estimates nearly 6,600 pedestrians died last year.
That’s the highest number of pedestrian deaths in more than 30 years. In 2018, people ages 50 to 64 accounted for more than a quarter of pedestrian deaths, according to the federal government.
Not all states had rising pedestrian fatalities. The report suggests that demographic changes, drug use, economic conditions, fuel prices, population and weather can cause fluctuations.
In 30 states, the number of pedestrian deaths increased. Five states — Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas — accounted for nearly half of the deaths but have only about a third of the U.S. population.