State Pedestrian and Bicycle Deaths Reach New High


As of Dec. 20th of 2015, 120 people (110 were pedestrian fatalities) had been killed either walking or biking in Tennessee.

tennessee_pedestrian_bicycle_deathsAccording to a quote from from Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Lt. Bill Miller, 10% of this year’s roadway fatalities were outside of vehicles.

“Is there something that we can do to better educate the public as to the dangers that are involved with walking and being distracted at the same time?” — Lt. Bill Miller THP courtesy of Nashville Public Radio

Poorly designed roadways, narrow rural road shoulders, right turns on red and distracted pedestrians seem to be the main factor in the rise in #s. While DUIs and traffic fatalities are at new lows for recent years, the alarming rise in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths ( highest since 1984) has  THP promising more involvement this year.

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) , this is not just a Tennessee problem and sees these trends as contributing factors:

  •  Alcohol involvement with BAC ≥ 0.01 (37 percent) among pedestrians is a major problem. High intoxication levels with BAC ≥ 0.08 (32 percent) among pedestrians highlight the seriousness of alcohol involvement problem;
  •  Alcohol involvement (18 percent) among drivers of motor vehicles when a pedestrian was killed combined with the pedestrian alcohol involvement enhances the problem;
  •  Almost two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities occurred on urban roadways;
  •  Most pedestrian fatalities occur at non-intersections (over 75 percent) and roadways without crosswalks (over 40 percent); ¾ Pedestrian actions at the time of the crash indicate the risks pedestrians are taking while crossing the roadways;
  •  Driver actions at the time of the crash indicate the risks pedestrians encounter on roadways;
  •  Dark and dark but lighted conditions (almost two-thirds) are a major concern in pedestrian fatalities. Nighttime, especially 6 PM to midnight hours, account for almost 50 percent of the pedestrian fatalities. These suggest that visibility may be a problem;
  •  Almost one in five (18 percent) pedestrians killed was a result of a hit-and-run crash. More attention and effort on enforcement may be required; and, ¾ Among the states, New Mexico had the highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population (3.94) followed by Arizona (3.00). In the ranking of cities based on pedestrian fatality rates, 5 of the top 10 cities were in Florida. The 3 cities with the highest fatality rates were in Florida. States and cities with the highest pedestrian fatality rates need to focus on special safety messages to pedestrians.


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