Pedestrian, cyclist fatalities on the rise

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new analysis indicating total fatalities decreased by 1.9 percent from 2010 to 2011 but cyclist and pedestrian deaths increased. This mixed report shows an 8.7 percent increase in cyclist fatalities and 3 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2011.

“We are still concerned about the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians at risk on our roadways. We must obey basic traffic safety laws to ensure the safety of those inside and outside of a vehicle,” said Traffic Safety Coalition Co-Chair Paul Oberhauser, whose daughter Sarah was killed in 2002 when a driver ran a red light and crashed into her car. “This new report is a reminder we still need to be cautious and share the road.”

The numbers in the report show a need for increased education relating to the shift in the types of transportation the public is now using.

“The latest numbers show how the tireless work of our safety agencies and partners, coupled with significant advances in technology and continued public education, can really make a difference on our roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a release from NHTSA. “As we look to the future, it will be more important than ever to build on this progress by continuing to tackle head-on issues like seat belt use, drunk driving, and driver distraction.”

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