NHTSA Issues Advisory to Pedestrians: Fatalities Caused by Motorists Up in 2010

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an advisory to pedestrians after statistics showed pedestrian fatalities rose by 4 percent in 2010 relative to their levels in 2009. The report notes that 4,280 pedestrians died in 2010, up from 4,109 in 2009. Another 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2010.

On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every 8 minutes in 2010, the report states.

The total number of fatalities in Illinois was 927 that year. Of that total, 115 — or 12.4 percent — were pedestrian deaths, according to the report. That is a much smaller percentage, however, than other states. In the District of Columbia, for example, 54 percent of the traffic fatalities involved pedestrians in 2010, while in California, the percentage of car deaths involving pedestrians was 22 percent.

An agency spokesperson noted in an e-mail that it was too soon to speculate about what factors might have contributed to the increase in pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2010. Despite the rise between the two years, deaths were down 13 percent from 2001, when 4,901 pedestrian deaths were attributed to motor vehicle crashes.

The report states that, in 2010 a majority of deaths — 73 percent — occurred in urban areas. Nearly 80 percent took place away from intersections, 68 percent occurred at night and 47 percent were linked to alcohol consumption.

According to the report, the most dangerous time to be out walking was from 8 p.m. to midnight on weekends and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Also, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of the victims killed in traffic accidents were males.

Alcohol was a factor in the fatalities. Among pedestrians killed, 33 percent had a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter.

To view the pedestrian fatality report, including a state-by-state breakdown of fatalities, click here (PDF).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois bus accident lawsuits for individuals and families for more than 36 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and surrounding areas, including Bridgeview, Elk Grove Village, Chicago’s Streeterville, Calumet City, Winnetka, and Willowbrook.

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