Residents in New York should be able to trust that they can be safe when crossing a street, walking through a parking lot, taking their dog for a walk or a run or other basic activities. Unfortunately, these everyday events seem to be putting people in more danger every year. In New York State and across the country, pedestrian deaths are on the rise.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that pedestrian fatalities in the state jumped by four percent between 2017 and 2018. Last year, the 262 people on foot who died in New York accidents represented 28% of the overall vehicular fatalities. In 2017, pedestrians accounted for 24% of the state’s accident deaths.
According to a report by The Verge, pedestrian deaths across the United States increased 3.4% between 2017 and 2018. The nearly 6,300 fatalities that occurred last year represent the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. in 28 years.
It seems that the plethora of advanced safety features often built into new vehicles are not doing a sufficient job of protecting pedestrians. In one AAA study, vehicles equipped with systems to detect pedestrians and automatically brake vehicles still hit dummy pedestrians in six out of 10 instances. These tests were conducted while the vehicles were traveling at only 20 miles per hour in the daylight. The problems associated with these systems have been identified to be even worse in the dark hours. In the winter months, it is common for a person to go to work and come home from work in the dark.