The (Possible) Reasons for an Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities in New Hampshire and The U.S.

Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in recent years. As a result, lawmakers have introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014. States must comply within the next two years with their plans to resolve these problems by implementing a diversity of safety measures. Funding is also being provided to support these initiatives. 

Though each state has released their numbers, they will vary from state to state. As with the federal data for the state of New Hampshire, here’s the current statistics as of 2010.

Rank                                        44

Total Pedestrians Killed          9

Pedestrian Fatality Rate          0.68

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicating that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, occurred in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians. These statistics do not account for the number pedestrians injured by motor vehicle collisions which may be even higher.

However, it is a big challenge at the federal level as well as the state level to figure out why exactly there is an increase in pedestrian fatalities. But experts have come up with some speculations that we have listed below.

Increase in pedestrian population

The current trend supports more people walking today for different reasons. One trend that many of the lawmakers are suspecting is the increase involves people walking for health reasons. Whether it is to incorporate more exercise to prevent health risks and other diseases or to lose weight because of a national obesity problem, the trend for walking can be based on numerous health factors.

Increase in Bicycle Riding

Another factor that could be affecting the numbers includes bike riders, since more people are riding their bicycles in many cities around the country to get from one destination to another. The shift for these changes may be affected by riding for extracurricular activities or for an alternative form of transportation.

Green Effect

As green initiatives and responsibilities are being promoted around the country, everyone is being encouraged to do their part. Therefore, many people are contributing in different ways in order to provide their personal contributions. Some of these people tend to do things like bike, walk or use mass transit instead of using their cars. From walking with their children to school to taking city transportation, this initiative also converts drivers into pedestrians.

New Hampshire and Road Safety Measures

Since transportation experts cannot identify what safety measures are working, it is going to be hard to make changes that will affect the fatality rates. One change, however, that is necessary is looking at the laws based on pedestrian protection versus laws that cater to the cars on the road. For instance, transportation specialists are looking at reducing the speed limits and enforcing laws by installing more cameras. Which means, when the traffic is moving much slower it reduces the chances of fatalities by large percentages (i.e. cars traveling at a speed of 20 miles per hour only has an estimated 5% chance of death).

It is wise for the federal government and New Hampshire to take further steps to make it an even safer state for pedestrians than it already is.

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