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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Pedestrian Deaths in Car Crashes Are Rising

      Highest amount since 2009

    In 2009, the U.S. saw its lowest number of pedestrian deaths. But since then, that number has increased by 46 percent as pedestrian crashes have become more frequent and deadlier. Why is that?

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study today investigating the possible reasons. One key indicator is the number of crashes involving SUVs. According to IIHS data, between 2009 and 2016, fatal single-vehicle crashes involving SUVs rose 81 percent - the largest increase of any vehicle segment. Aside from the growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, the tall body height and larger footprint mean in a pedestrian crash, the vehicle is hitting a person's chest or head.

    SUVs weren't the only metric to see an increase. IIHS reports that urban environments, arterial roads, nighttime, and non-intersection crashes have seen large increases.

    Can anything be done to help reduce pedestrian fatalities? According to the IIHS, there is a lot that can be done.

    • Softening the front ends of SUVs
    • Improving pedestrian detection systems and headlights (The latter would be helped if NHTSA can get its act together on updating their headlight regulations)
    • Lower the speed limits
    • Adding more "pedestrian hybrid beacons" - Kind of a sudo-stop light where a pedestrian activates it before crossing. Begins flashing yellow, before transitioning to solid yellow, and then solid double red.

    "Understanding where, when and how these additional pedestrian crashes are happening can point the way to solutions. This analysis tells us that improvements in road design, vehicle design and lighting and speed limit enforcement all have a role to play in addressing the issue," said IIHS President David Harkey.

    Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

     

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    My gut tells me this is not anything new about SUVs, but more of a distracted driving issue. We have clearly those that love to drive and those that care less. On top of the idiots that think driving is a privilege and anyone should be given a drivers license and allowed on the road.

    Lets first start with making the training more intense and focused on quality drivers before blaming the auto.

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    9 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    There is also the problem with distracted pedestrians...zombies walking around not paying attention their surroundings, futzing with their phones...

    Very true, sadly not sure how one could better train people walking to not Zombie in front of a moving auto because their smartphone is so much more important than paying attention to where one walks. :metal:

    zombies grindhouse GIF

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    14 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    There is also the problem with distracted pedestrians...zombies walking around not paying attention their surroundings, futzing with their phones...

    Yes, my first thought was pedestrians crossing streets while texting or looking at their phone.  Distracted drivers don't help either. 

    Putting automatic braking on cars would help reduce pedestrian and vehicle collisions, but I read a little while ago, that Volvo, Tesla and Mercedes are the only 3 brands that have it or make it standard on over 50% of their models, Tesla and Mercedes have it standard on every car.

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    Speaking of using technology, I did see a demo of someone using augmented reality goggles w/ head mounted 360 degree cameras, so they could see around themselves walking along with threats like other pedestrians and traffic highlighted on a projected screen, and distance to them, audible and visible warnings when they got close to the other objects..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    20 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Speaking of using technology, I did see a demo of someone using augmented reality goggles w/ head mounted 360 degree cameras, so they could see around themselves walking along with threats like other pedestrians and traffic highlighted on a projected screen, and distance to them, audible and visible warnings when they got close to the other objects..

    Might as well just remove our head and add a Fly style of robot head with 360 view. :P 

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    5 minutes ago, loki said:

    just gonna add night joggers and such. sometimes its more the pedestrian being visible before having to swerve/slam on the brakes. ;)

    Yeah, I almost backed into a jogger in black at end of my driveway once at 5am...

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Yeah, I almost backed into a jogger in black at end of my driveway once at 5am...

    i nearly hit one a few months ago on a road barely lit and no side walk... admittedly i was also a tad distracted.

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    9 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I nearly was run over by a Pruis today, but I was paying attention and she wasn't.... she was also running a red light. 

     

    What an insulting way to go that would be....

    helping the earth, one human at a time....?   j/k

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    58 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    and Twitter, Cheers & Gears, Amazon, eBay, etc..

    Guess we should also include LinkedIn. :P 

    Guess we need people catchers now on every auto. 🙄

    See the source image

    Or a sweeper to sweep the peeps away:

    See the source image

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Wish the 1st and 3rd ones would just die.

    He means that those are the causes for pedestrian incidents...   though I'm not sure who is more guilty of using them when they shouldn't be... pedestrians or drivers. 

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    2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The last generation Cadillac SRX had the right idea of putting a cow catcher on the front.

    2013-cadillac-srx-side_cssrx133.jpg

    Have to say I like this body style over the XT5. Wish they had just designed the interior space better.

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    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Have to say I like this body style over the XT5. Wish they had just designed the interior space better.

    It was meant to play in the compact class.  They drive fantastic... much more car-like than a normal crossover.

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    27 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    He means that those are the causes for pedestrian incidents...   though I'm not sure who is more guilty of using them when they shouldn't be... pedestrians or drivers. 

    While pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings - it is more of the driver's responsibility than it is the pedestrian's. It is the pedestrian who has the right of way. You never see a driver sue a pedestrian for damage to his/her car after hitting somebody. 

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    29 minutes ago, Sal Collaziano said:

    While pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings - it is more of the driver's responsibility than it is the pedestrian's. It is the pedestrian who has the right of way. You never see a driver sue a pedestrian for damage to his/her car after hitting somebody. 

    Absolutely, the person who nearly hit me yesterday was running a red light.

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    I think that is so dependent on the scenario you can't say it's all drivers' fault or all pedestrians' faults. 

    For instance, that autonomous Uber driver(or whatever company) that hit a lady.. The lady apparently came out of nowhere where there wasn't time to react even if an aware human was behind the wheel could have done anything. Then in Drew's case, the driver wasn't paying attention at all. I don't know what the split is but I feel like it's 95% because of phones for both parties. 

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    47 minutes ago, Sal Collaziano said:

    While pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings - it is more of the driver's responsibility than it is the pedestrian's. It is the pedestrian who has the right of way. You never see a driver sue a pedestrian for damage to his/her car after hitting somebody. 

    Would have to disagree with you, it is BOTH persons responsibility. Today, there are many people who ignore the signals and just walk out into the crosswalks. 

    Lucky for me, Seattle has so many cameras that they record 24/7 the cross walks and who has the right of way. If someone walked out in front of me when I have a green light, I will expect them to pay for any damages / repairs.

    We have already had these issues in the city with not just pedestrians but also bike riders who jump up on the sidewalk out of the bike lane to cross and then hit cars.

    Here I would sue a pedestrian or bike rider if they hit me by going against the lights when I had the Green. Hold everyone equally responsible.

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    28 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    I think that is so dependent on the scenario you can't say it's all drivers' fault or all pedestrians' faults. 

    For instance, that autonomous Uber driver(or whatever company) that hit a lady.. The lady apparently came out of nowhere where there wasn't time to react even if an aware human was behind the wheel could have done anything. Then in Drew's case, the driver wasn't paying attention at all. I don't know what the split is but I feel like it's 95% because of phones for both parties. 

    Sorry to hear about you almost getting hit! I agree, it's probably 95% because of everyone being on phones... How the world has changed...

    21 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Would have to disagree with you, it is BOTH persons responsibility. Today, there are many people who ignore the signals and just walk out into the crosswalks. 

    Lucky for me, Seattle has so many cameras that they record 24/7 the cross walks and who has the right of way. If someone walked out in front of me when I have a green light, I will expect them to pay for any damages / repairs.

    We have already had these issues in the city with not just pedestrians but also bike riders who jump up on the sidewalk out of the bike lane to cross and then hit cars.

    Here I would sue a pedestrian or bike rider if they hit me by going against the lights when I had the Green. Hold everyone equally responsible.

    I agree with you that it is both the responsibility of the driver and the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings - but by law - the person walking (and I believe riding a bike) always has the right of way at the end of that day. Perhaps that's changed since I originally learned that...

    When all is said and done, people driving need to pay attention to the road. Being on Facebook at the same time as driving - you might as well have a car racing video game displaying on your windshield with your vehicle's steering wheel working for both real drive and the game - simultaneously...

    Edited by Sal Collaziano
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    5 minutes ago, Sal Collaziano said:

    I agree with you that it is both the responsibility of the driver and the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings - but by law - the person walking (and I believe riding a bike) always has the right of way at the end of that day. Perhaps that's changed since I originally learned that...

    Nope, that is still the law.

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    Isn't it dependent on the situation? A pedestrian can't sprint across any road at any time and expect to be able to go after the driver who hits them. If there is a crosswalk light and you walk through while it is red that is a ticket for the pedestrian and I would assume if they got hit they couldn't go after the driver(unless it was something weird where it was clearly intentional and no effort to stop or avoid). 

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    6 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Isn't it dependent on the situation? A pedestrian can't sprint across any road at any time and expect to be able to go after the driver who hits them. If there is a crosswalk light and you walk through while it is red that is a ticket for the pedestrian and I would assume if they got hit they couldn't go after the driver(unless it was something weird where it was clearly intentional and no effort to stop or avoid). 

    Pedestrian/bike in a crosswalk and a green light = having right of way.

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    Yes. I think we all know that part of it. 

    If those were the only people getting killed this would be an easy discussion because it would be 100% of the cars' faults. 

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    9 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Yes. I think we all know that part of it. 

    If those were the only people getting killed this would be an easy discussion because it would be 100% of the cars' faults. 

    outside of that, you are right it does get murky.... still, as a driver, you are supposed to be in control of your forward motion at all times.  If someone jaywalks outside of a crosswalk and they get hit, the burden is on the driver to show extraordinary circumstances. 

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    19 hours ago, dfelt said:

    My gut tells me this is not anything new about SUVs, but more of a distracted driving issue. We have clearly those that love to drive and those that care less. On top of the idiots that think driving is a privilege and anyone should be given a drivers license and allowed on the road.

    Lets first start with making the training more intense and focused on quality drivers before blaming the auto.

    People now as distracted as ever, people always driving bad and not paying attention.

    I think it is simple physics and statistics issue: much more cars in general on the road and substantially higher percentage of these cars are bigger, heavier and  taller SUVs/CUVs.

    I do agree though that pedestrians became much more distracted due to the smartphones.

    Edited by ykX
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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    Isn't it dependent on the situation? A pedestrian can't sprint across any road at any time and expect to be able to go after the driver who hits them. If there is a crosswalk light and you walk through while it is red that is a ticket for the pedestrian and I would assume if they got hit they couldn't go after the driver(unless it was something weird where it was clearly intentional and no effort to stop or avoid). 

    Here in Seattle, I know pedestrians and bike riders are tickets if they go against the red and are held accountable for breaking that law no different than a driver in a car. 

    Yes Peds and Bikes have the right of way over a car if they have the green but to go against the road laws they are just as at fault so I agree that it does depend on the situation.

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    In downtown STL it's actually illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. They have to ride on the streets and obey all traffic laws. 

    It is not the same in my small town of 10,000 people 😂

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    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    In downtown STL it's actually illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. They have to ride on the streets and obey all traffic laws. 

    It is not the same in my small town of 10,000 people 😂

    I so wish that was enforced here. Seattle says it is illegal if the street has a bike lane and yet with all the stupid bike share companies here, they have bikes all over the sidewalks and so tourists and locals ride everywhere causing all kinds of problems.
    Guess it is the same everywhere. 😵

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    On 5/9/2018 at 1:35 PM, dfelt said:

    I so wish that was enforced here. Seattle says it is illegal if the street has a bike lane and yet with all the stupid bike share companies here, they have bikes all over the sidewalks and so tourists and locals ride everywhere causing all kinds of problems.
    Guess it is the same everywhere. 😵

    In downtown Cleveland on several streets there are bike lanes that double as the valet parking drop off lanes for hotels and restaurants, hilarity ensues at certain times, I'm sure...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    This is why automatic pedestrian detection is going to become standard across the board.  Even if it isn't legislated, the industry is driving there already.  Toyota already having it standard across nearly its entire lineup, Mazda makes it a cheap $600 option, HondaSense is standard on Accord and a $1000 option on any CVT equipped Civic or Fit. Standard on EX and higher CRV trims....
     

    It's going to take the same adoption path that airbags took... even if it isn't mandated, the safety scores will be weighted on having the feature or not and no manufacturer will want to be below 5 star ratings. 

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    That sucks for most enthusiasts who pay attention and don't want to even pay $600 for something like that, let alone even more. If they're packaging it into the starting price it might not look like we're paying for it, but we are. 

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    11 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    That sucks for most enthusiasts who pay attention and don't want to even pay $600 for something like that, let alone even more. If they're packaging it into the starting price it might not look like we're paying for it, but we are. 

    While true, even the best and most attentive drivers can't avoid every incident.  I do pay attention while driving, but I don't mind the car being able to take countermeasures if needed especially since it can react faster than I can.

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