The problem is real and only getting worse.
As outlined below, U.S. traffic related pedestrian and bicycle deaths are increasing year-to-year.
The causes of cyclist/pedestrian fatalities:
- Visibility - drivers not seeing cyclists, runners, pedestrians
- Motor vehicle speed
- Increased number of people getting outdoors on foot and/or bikes
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate infrastructure
- Points of reference:
- According a 2022 NHTSA report, there were 42,915 U.S. motor vehicle fatalities in 2021, a 10.5% increase from 38,842 deaths 2020 (https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/early-estimate-2021-traffic-fatalities)
- There are many more non-fatal motor and non-motorized injuries than deaths, many of which are never reported.
- New York Times, Nov. 27, 2022 "The Exceptionally American Problem of Rising Roadway Deaths" discusses how and why other wealthy nations have done and do better protecting pedestrians, cyclists and motorists than we do in the US. Here's the link and a graph below:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/27/upshot/road-deaths-pedestrians-cyclists.html (If you can't access the link, please email me, and I'll send you the article in PDF format: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Effecting real change to make roads safer for all is a long, steep climb. But the alternative, doing nothing, is unacceptable. We can only make a difference if we road athletes, enthusiasts, retailers and safety advocacy organizations unite our efforts, lead by example both on and off the road and advocate in growing numbers for coherent, consistent change community-by-community and state-by-state.
Next: The 6 Feet, Thanks approach