The government statistics are dry. They lack the tears. Think of the pain and suffering of the individual and their loved ones.
Recently one of my subscribers sent me a link to an excellent pedestrian safety article published by Bloomberg.1
The author Mr. Zipper subsequently wrote a sequel also published by Bloomberg.2
The Bloomberg articles point out that pedestrian risk has grown by 45% since 2010 and that “Now, finally, NHTSA has outlined an update to its testing regime. But instead of evaluating pedestrian crashworthiness, the agency chose to emphasize the safety benefits of driver assistance technology. Such features can be useful, but recent analysis suggest their value at nighttime — when almost three of every four pedestrian fatalities occur — is limited.”
The Bloomberg articles show how NHTSA continues to be part of the problem – something I have long written about since I retired from NHTSA in 2007. One need only go to my web site and search on the term “Pedestrian”. And also to do a search on “Revolving Door” to learn about how NHTSA, and DOT, have become captured agencies.3
NHTSA, FHWA and DOT know and have known for decades of the problem.
The extent of the tragedies in America is enormous. The number of pedestrian tragedies and cyclist tragedies reported on the Federal Highway website statistically amounts to many lives each year. “Each year, unfortunately, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities comprise about 19 percent of all traffic fatalities with approximately 6,000 pedestrian deaths and 850 bicyclist deaths. Another 76,000 pedestrians and 47,000 bicyclists are injured in roadway crashes annually.”4
But note well that the government statistics are dry. They lack the tears. Think of the pain and suffering of the individual and their loved ones. Think of the family losses. Think of the grief. Think of the consequences of brain injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia, years of medical treatments and costs of care.
NHTSA has published historical annual data (numbers and rates) for the years 1975 – 2019 on pedestrian and bicyclists killed and injured.5
And the numbers are rising.
The number of American pedestrians killed since 1975 now approaches 250,000.
The number of American pedestrians injured since 1975 now approaches an estimated 3 million.
The DOT Value of a Statistical Life in 2021 is $11.8 million. If we apply that value to the 250,000 pedestrians killed since 1975 it would approach $3 trillion, not including costs for injured survivors.6
As for three fourths of fatalities occurring at night, where are the government agencies, the car companies, the bike and scooter companies, and the clothing manufacturers use of retro reflective paints and materials?7