Fleet drivers often work in urban areas with a large concentration of pedestrian traffic. It is important to make sure your drivers are aware of pedestrian safety when working, especially with new information showing pedestrian fatalities rising.
A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveals that pedestrian fatalities increased during the first six months of 2010. While the increase is small -- 0.4 percent -- it is notable because overall traffic fatalities during this period were significantly down, and this comes on the heels of four straight years of steady declines in pedestrian deaths.
For the first six months of 2010, pedestrian fatalities increased by seven, from 1,884 to 1,891. If the second six months of 2010 also show no significant change, this will be the first year of increase or no progress after four years of decline. Pedestrian traffic fatalities dropped from 4,892 in 2005 to 4,091 in 2009, an average decline of 200 each year.
While the slight increase may not seem particularly alarming, it is a concern given that during this same period overall traffic fatalities declined 8 percent, according to the preliminary estimate from the NHTSA.
"It is definitely a concern," said Troy E. Costales, GHSA's vice chairman and head of Oregon's highway safety program. "Looking at our data, we are seeing pedestrians crossing mid-block instead of at crosswalks, pedestrians walking in the roadway, and even some walking in the travel lanes of the interstate. We are familiar with aggressive drivers; we now have aggressive pedestrians."
Costales also pointed out that more than half of the pedestrians killed in 2010 were under the influence of intoxicants.
[via Automotive Fleet]
Photo courtesy of silveryyn and re-used under the Creative Commons license.