Young professionals and urbanites are among the large number of healthy minded, environmentally conscious commuters walking and biking into the office. While there is much to be said about the health benefits that result from this trend, it seems to be coming at a risk.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there was a record 11% increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities from 2015 to 2016. While this is the second year in a row that a significant increase was noted, the 2016 numbers represent the largest year-to-year increase since record-keeping began.
While more research is underway across the country as to the cause of the dramatic rise in fatalities, several factors seem to be at play. The largest possible factor being the number of distracted drivers and walkers resulting from smartphone usage, as well as the increased number of pedestrians, and higher mileage being logged by many U.S. drivers. (Read the full report here.)
As drivers, there are things we can do to avoid a dangerous collision with cyclists and walkers, putting safety first. Items such as slowing down at intersections and crosswalks, keeping windows clear of snow and heavy dirt cover, surveying the surroundings for distracted walkers and of course, avoiding cell phone usage at all times while vehicle is in use.
You can view these tips for defensive driving to help you avoid accidents and other costly incidents.