When crossing a street, most people assume that drivers are paying attention. But that is not always the case.
It's true that, overall, traffic-related deaths are on the decline in the United States. But a recent report suggests that roads are becoming increasingly unsafe for pedestrians.
How many pedestrian traffic fatalities happen in New Mexico?
Between 2008 and 2017, there was a 35-percent increase in pedestrian fatalities throughout the United States, from 4,414 lives lost in 2008 to nearly 6,000 in 2017. And between January and June 2018, New Mexico saw 2.26 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people -- the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation.
The report also shows that during 2017:
- 74 percent of all pedestrian fatalities happened when it was dark
- Local streets are where 35 percent of pedestrian lives were lost
- 32 percent of pedestrians killed had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08
- 18 percent of pedestrians lost their lives due to accidents at intersections
- Passenger cars were involved in 2,243 pedestrian deaths
Distracted driving is linked to the increase in pedestrian collisions.
Using phones and other devices behind the wheel is a widespread problem in New Mexico and nationwide. Despite common knowledge that distracted driving is a life-taker, people continue to text, email and use social media while driving. Unfortunately, this has in part led to the decline in safety among pedestrians.
It's also important for pedestrians to do their part to stay safe. However, if a pedestrian is harmed by a negligent driver, the pedestrian has a right to seek full and fair compensation for the injuries.