Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Study: Pedestrian, Bicyclist Deaths from Distracted Driving Keep Climbing

Although the overall traffic death rate is dropping, the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed by distracted drivers in the United States is climbing, according to a new study in Public Health Reports.

Researchers utilized the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to find crashes on public roads from 2005 to 2010 that led to at least one death, finding that pedestrian deaths jumped to 500 from 347. The number of bicyclist deaths rose to 73 from 56, with a peak of 77 in 2008. They also found that distracted drivers were three times more likely to hit pedestrians on road shoulders and 1.6 times more likely to hit them in marked crosswalks.  [keep reading ...]

Poster's note: It is my personal opinion that distracted driving should receive a penalty commensurate with DUI, given that both are equally dangerous. As it stands now, cell phone and other laws in Delaware designed to curb this reckless behavior are toothless and rarely enforced. Don't expect much to change; the NTSB hasn't touched the issue of bicycle safety in over 40 years, despite many more fatalities than passengers in airplanes and trains.

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