People are killed every day while walking, even in crosswalks, and with the right-of-way. The narrative we hear too often is that they were “distracted walkers” or officer’s reports stating that the person was “hit by a car* while walking outside the crosswalk …” Do we realize yet that the media is presenting “facts” in such a way as to dehumanize and exonerate drivers*, while blaming victims for their deaths? #slowthecars #toomanycars While lawmakers are still bumbling through legislation to reduce the numbers of cars on city streets all over the US, what can WE do about it in Asbury Park?
The number of pedestrians killed by cars keeps going up
Americans are walking less, but the number of people killed by drivers while walking keeps going up. Unsurprisingly, these deaths happen more in poor neighborhoods of color.
Every year, the amount of time Americans spend walking declines. Driving, on the other hand, has slightly but steadily risen in popularity since 2008. During that period, the number of pedestrians killed by people in cars has skyrocketed.
Between 2008 and 2017 drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets all across the United States. That’s more than 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes. The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.
Too many Americans are being struck and killed by the drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs while walking. Dangerous by Design 2019, released today, chronicles the preventable epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, which have been steadily increasing in recent years, even as traffic fatalities overall have been decreasing.
We can and must do more to reduce the number of people who die while walking every day on our roadways. For too long we have disregarded this problem by prioritizing moving cars at high speeds over safety for everyone. It’s past time for that to change. Protecting the safety of all people who use the street—especially the people most vulnerable to being struck and killed—needs to be a higher priority for policymakers, and this priority must be reflected in the decisions we make about how to fund, design, operate, maintain, and measure the success of our roads.
In the past decade, the number of people struck and killed while walking increased by 35 percent. Though fatalities decreased ever so slightly in 2017, the last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.
It’s a crash. “The word “accident” exonerates the driver – with the implication that injuries and deaths of people walking or riding bikes are preordained or unavoidable. (This is intentional in our car obsessed culture.) And the blame is placed on the walker or person on the bike, relying on testimony of the driver because the victim cannot tell his side..read this story which got more coverage than most.
How Lazy Coverage of Pedestrian Deaths Obscures Why Streets Are So Dangerous