The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a 2017 Preliminary Data analysis of pedestrian fatalities which identifies national trends. The most disturbing trend is the 27% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2007 to 2016.
Of particular concern to Colorado pedestrians, states with legalized marijuana experienced an average 16.4% increase in fatalities in first six months of 2017 over the same period in 2016. To better educate the public regarding pedestrian hazards, the state has launched a public education campaign.
Not surprisingly, 75% of pedestrian deaths occur after dark. And almost half of the fatalities involved alcohol consumption either by the pedestrian or the driver.
Experts have identified a “3E” approach to improving pedestrian safety – enforcement, engineering and education. Enforcement measures include enforcing speed limits and automated traffic enforcement. Engineering improvements include roundabouts and road bumps as well as increased street lighting and high-visibility crosswalks. Public education campaigns to help speed enforcement have been effective in reducing pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians should be reminded to wear high-visibility gear, cross only in designated crosswalks and obey pedestrian signals.