We have to own cars, so the total of 6000 pedestrian deaths, and a total of 40,000 deaths by car last year is a built-in consequence. REALLY!?!! If this was drug related, or disease, or other epidemic we would be outraged! This rant is brought to you as a response to people complaining about the “dangers” of electric scooters recently introduced in Asbury Park. FOCUS on the REAL PROBLEM. #toomanycars #slowthecars Scooters and bikes in Asbury Park are alternatives to cars, and we need to keep open minds to save lives, and to protect health and the environment. Asbury Park is poised to be a city that truly gets it right.
If anything else—a disease, terrorists, gun-wielding crazies—killed as many Americans as cars do, we’d regard it as a national emergency. Especially if the death rate had grown by 50 percent in less than a decade. But as new data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (via Streetsblog) show, that’s exactly what’s happened with the pedestrian death toll in the U.S. In the nine years from 2009 to 2018, pedestrian deaths increased 51 percent from 4,109 to 6,227.
We can’t ignore this anymore. Scooters and bikes ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. These numbers are unacceptable. We’re working on solutions in Asbury Park. #toomanycars #slowthecars
Vehicle Deaths Estimated at 40,000 for Third Straight Year
For the first time since the Great Recession, the U.S. has experienced three straight years of at least 40,000 roadway deaths, according to preliminary estimatesreleased Feb. 13 by the National Safety Council. In 2018, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes – a 1% decline from 2017 (40,231 deaths) and 2016 (40,327 deaths). About 4.5 million people were seriously injured in crashes last year – also a 1% decrease over 2017.
Discouragingly, last year’s estimated 40,000 deaths is 14% higher than four years ago. Driver behavior is likely contributing to the numbers staying stubbornly high. The Council’s estimates do not reveal causation; however, 2017 final data show spikes in deaths among pedestrians, while distraction continues to be involved in 8% of crashes, and drowsy driving in an additional 2%.
“Forty-thousand deaths is unacceptable,” said Nicholas Smith, interim president and CEO of NSC. “We cannot afford to tread water any more. We know what works, but we need to demonstrate the commitment to implementing the solutions. Roadway deaths are preventable by doubling down on what works, embracing technology advancements and creating a culture of safer driving.”
“Our roads and sidewalks are far more than a means of transportation, they are a means of economic growth and community development, and we must make them safe and accessible for everyone,” said Sen. Markey said in a statement. “Whether you are traveling by foot, spoke, or pass, everyone deserves ‘complete streets,’ and this legislation will help fund safe transportation options for the 21st century.”
Pedestrian deaths keep rising in the U.S. Can Congress reverse the trend?
A proposed federal bill would require states to set aside highway funds for safer streets
For the past decade, about 13 people per day have been killed while walking in the U.S., a number that remains troublingly high even as other roadway deaths go down. Now a new federal bill intends to address the country’s increasing pedestrian deaths as a national crisis.
The Complete Streets Act, introduced yesterday in both houses of Congress by Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and Rep. Steve Cohen, of Tennessee, would require states to aside five percent of federal highway funds for complete streets programs. Complete streets are defined as corridors that are redesigned to give all users of the street equal access to the roadway, with a special emphasis on safety for the most vulnerable users.
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