[tabi] Re: Jump in pedestrian accidents puzzling

  • From: "Sila Miller" <silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 21:50:35 -0500

"More pedestrians are distracted by cellphones and other handheld communication 
Yeah, dialing 911 for a traffic accident emergency...Oh but for the days of 
responsible walking, driving, child bearing--when adults were adults...And we 
ain't seen nothing yet.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Allison and Chip Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 3:04 PM
Subject: [tabi] Jump in pedestrian accidents puzzling

> from today's Democrat:
> Jump in pedestrian accidents puzzling
> By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY 
> The USA is getting riskier for people on foot, and experts
> aren't sure why.
> New National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data show pedestrian
> fatalities
> rose 4.2% in 2010 over the previous year. The number of pedestrians hurt in
> motor
> vehicle crashes soared 19%, to 70,000.
> Experts are puzzled by the increase, which comes as road fatalities in most
> categories
> are dropping. The jump follows four straight years of falling pedestrian
> deaths,
> and a 14% decrease in pedestrian fatalities from 2000 to 2009.
> "Quite frankly, I don't know why they went up," says James Hedlund, a former
> official who researched pedestrian safety in January for the Governors
> Highway Safety
> Association. "Nobody knows. As far as I can tell, nobody has studied the
> issue. The
> data (are) too new." Possible explanations:
> u Walkers are put at risk by the preponderance of wide, high-speed roads
> designed
> to move large numbers of vehicles but not with pedestrians in mind.
> "What we have seen anecdotally around the country is that more people are
> walking,
> biking, trying to get to their destination by means other than a car," says
> David
> Goldberg, spokesman for Transportation for America, a safety advocacy
> coalition that
> reports annually on the deadliest cities for pedestrians (the three worst
> are all
> in Florida: Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Jacksonville).
> "What we do know is that conditions have not improved substantially for
> pedestrians.
> The road design problems we pointed out in our report earlier this year are
> still
> out there."
> u Low-income residents and immigrants have added population in suburban
> areas.
> u More pedestrians are distracted by cellphones and other handheld
> communication
> devices. There has been only anecdotal evidence of "pedestrian distraction"
> as a
> factor in fatalities, such as a 31-year-old woman killed in March in San
> Ysidro,
> Calif., while crossing the street in a crosswalk. Police said she was on her
> cellphone
> and ignored a red light.
> "Nobody has good data," says Richard Wener, professor of environmental
> psychology
> at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, who collaborated on
> studies
> led by Jack Nasar, an Ohio State University professor. One obstacle to
> obtaining
> good data is police are not required to indicate whether a victim was using
> a phone
> or texting. "My guess is that's going to change," he says.
> Drinking also is a major factor in pedestrian fatalities. Alcohol-impairment
> - of
> the driver or the pedestrian - was involved in 48% of all pedestrian
> fatalities in
> 2009, according to NHTSA.
> Check out the TABI resource web page at http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI
> and please make suggestions for new material.
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