"More pedestrians are distracted by cellphones and other handheld communication devices." 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 > NHTSA > 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. > > > > if you'd like to unsubscribe you can do so through the freelists.org web > interface, or by sending an email to the address tabi-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx > with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject.