A new report on fatalities from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that Texas is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians.
In 2012, the rate of pedestrian fatalities in Texas was 1.83 per 100,000 population — meaning that nearly two out of every 100,000 Texans were struck and killed by a motor vehicle in 2012.
This figure makes Texas the 10th most dangerous state for pedestrians.
Experts agree that infrastructure is a key element in pedestrian safety, and the American Society of Civil Engineers claims that in 2012, nearly 40 percent of Texas roadways were in poor or mediocre condition.
When asked about the recent data from the NHTSA, officials from the Texas Department of Transportation pointed to unsafe and distracted driving as the key issue. Robert Archuleta, a transportation official with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, also told reporters he believed cell phone use while driving — particularly texting — was a significant factor.
The NHTSA noted that the number of pedestrians killed nationwide has been rising steadily since 2009, even while the number of overall traffic fatalities has generally decreased.
According to the NHTSA data, pedestrians are most likely to be killed or injured by motor vehicles between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. — when children are coming home from school and adults are coming home from work. However, there is also a spike in pedestrian fatalities between midnight and 3:00 a.m. on weekends. Data suggests that this spike could be due to an increase in nightlife coupled with low visibility.
The other states rounding out the top ten most dangerous states are Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, New Mexico and Delaware.
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