Even though overall traffic fatalities
have been falling in the United States, pedestrian deaths have risen sharply in recent years. In the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent while the combined number of all other traffic deaths fell by 6 percent. A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association
now estimates that the number of pedestrian fatalities last year was 6,227, up four percent on 2017 and the highest level recorded since 1990.
Economic conditions, population growth, demographic changes, weather conditions and fuel prices can all play a role in pedestrian fatality levels but they still cannot be attributed to the steady rise over the past decade. The report states that a shift in American sales away from passenger cars to light trucks could be a contributing factor while the increasing level of distraction associated with smartphone use while driving
could be another. Darkness is the most dangerous time for pedestrians with 75 percent of all deaths occurring at nighttime in 2017.