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It’s ‘National Pedestrian Safety Month’ again after the death toll hits a 40-year high

A cyclist and pedestrian cross the intersection of South Street and Third Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A cyclist and pedestrian cross the intersection of South Street and Third Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
image: Kriston Jae Bethel / AFP (beautiful pictures)

Delight National Pedestrian Safety Month! Sorry, I don’t understand anything for you. Yes, this age-old tradition, which will last until 2020, lives on in us once again. As usual, it’s time to put on our highly reflective clothing and sign up See where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is actually improving pedestrian safety.

The most important indicator to know if this whole month is working is to check and see if the pedestrian fatality rate has decreased. Well, unfortunately, telling pedestrians to wear reflective clothing and make eye contact with drivers didn’t work. Price increase in 2021 and then increase by 13% last year one four-decade high of 7,485 pedestrians.

This year NHTSA takes a stronger stance by asking beautiful drivers to pay attention and follow the rules of the road:

If telling drivers to pay attention and follow both rules and common sense was a sentiment, we wouldn’t have a whole month of pedestrian safety. NHTSA cares a lot about pedestrian safety, In realitythat Its pedestrian safety website hasn’t been updated in two years. After decades of distracted driving awareness campaigns, boring billboards and other ill will, The number of deaths is rising across the board both inside and outside of vehicles, with the US hitting a 16-year high for overall deaths in 2021.

Has NHTSA taken any of the steps recommended by Government Audit Office all the way back to 2008 to start ranking vehicles for pedestrian safety? Not really. March, NHTSA announced they are only considering including advanced driver assistance systems for testing in the company’s New Vehicle Assessment Program. This won’t test cars in the hope of making their designs less deadly in the event of a strike. but will test pedestrian avoidance systems such as blind-spot detection, blind-spot intervention, lane-keeping assist and automatic pedestrian emergency braking to prevent crashes in the first place.

However, the initial news is not good about such systems. Independent nonprofit institute for highway safety tested earlier this year and found them completely inadequate to protect pedestrians, especially at night.

If anything, alreadythe circle is getting heavier and more dangerous for the fragile lives that exist outside the giant machine– car set. Electric cars don’t help the problem. Now vehicles are both incredibly heavy and incredibly fast, with tons of torque in line. The 12,000-pound Hummer EV will make every safety advocate (and others on the road) extremely nervous:

Even less massive EVs weigh twice as much as a traditional gas-powered car. The growing presence of Big trucks and SUVs on our wayAs well as the growing proportion of electric vehicles in the fleet, it means that being outside a car is more dangerous than ever.

All of this to say that NHTSA continues to be all about pedestrian safety and will continue to do nothing for a long time. Of course, we can cut the traffic the death of half today, we just don’t want.


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