Despite the continuing introduction of advanced safety features on new vehicles in the last several years, it seems that pedestrians are experiencing a serious decrease in their safety. A report by CNBC provided insights on data from the Governors Highway Safety Association that showed more people on foot across the U.S. were killed by passenger vehicles in 2018 than in any year previously for 28 years.
The increase in pedestrian deaths was notably marked in the last decade, having increased 41% between 2008 and 2018. In 2018, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 16% of all vehicular fatalities nationwide.
Unfortunately, New Jersey seems to be especially plagued by the problems of keeping pedestrians safe. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that pedestrian deaths represented a staggering 31% of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the Garden State in 2018, the highest percentage in the previous five years. In both 2014 and 2015, foot traffic fatalities accounted for 30% of all vehicular fatalities. That amount dropped to 27% in 2016 only to increase first to 29% in 2017 and then to 31% in 2018.
The CNBC report indicated that the preponderance of large vehicles on the road may well be a contributing factor to the growing problem of pedestrian deaths. Fatalities among pedestrians hit by sport utility vehicles spiked a whopping 50% in just a few years from 2013 to 2017. Accidents involving taller vehicles result in more impact to torsos and heads versus knees and legs, so the potential severity of injuries may logically grow when vital organs are involved.