Michigan residents may be interested to learn that there was an increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2016. There were 5,987 reported pedestrian deaths in that year. In order to reduce pedestrian deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides resources including safety tips and educational materials.
Coldwater City Council has asked for a meeting with the Michigan Department of Transportation to discuss safety improvements for local pedestrians. The request comes after inquiries by the City Manager regarding the installation of a pedestrian bridge to replace an old bridge on the west area of town.
The Downtown Development Authority drew upon data from consultants and the Michigan Department of Transportation to create its new street safety improvement plan. On Aug. 9, a unanimous vote of the Ann Arbor City Council authorized $15.5 million in bonds to pay for landscaping and infrastructure improvements to streets, bike lanes, streetlights and crosswalks.
The dangers faced by highway repair and maintenance workers in Michigan and around the country were brought into sharp focus on the morning of Aug. 21 when a 26 year-old-woman was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver while installing guard rails on Interstate 90 in Pennsylvania. The 19-year-old man thought by police to have been behind the wheel is being held at the Erie County Prison without bond on charges of homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 4.
Distracted driving is responsible for the sharp increase in pedestrian deaths that has occurred in Michigan and elsewhere over past decade according to traffic safety experts. Cellphones and vehicle infotainment systems appear to be the top culprits.
The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a new report about pedestrian deaths that may be of interest to Michigan residents. There were 5,984 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2017, according to the report. This is the second year in a row in which the numbers have almost reached 6,000. The GHSA believes that this is not a mere statistical anomaly.
Almost 6,000 pedestrians in Michigan and the rest of the country were killed in 2017 from motor vehicle crashes. The number of fatalities was similar in 2016. While there is no scientific proof, experts believe that the use of marijuana and smartphones are responsible for the high number of deaths.
Even though there has been a concerted effort to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths in Michigan and elsewhere, the number of fatal pedestrian accidents has only continued to rise. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study showing that since 2009, pedestrian deaths have increased by 46 percent.
It can be difficult for drivers to see a pedestrian crossing the street. In some cases, pedestrians don't anticipate a driver running a red light or notice a car coming because of distractions. However, there are steps drivers and pedestrians can take to make Michigan roads safer. For instance, drivers should slow down when they are in parks, school zones or other areas where kids might be present.
Michigan pedestrians may be interested to learn that, in 2015, there were more than 5,300 pedestrians killed in pedestrian-related car accidents across the U.S. Another 129,000 pedestrians suffered non-fatal injuries after becoming involved in a car accident.