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Fatal pedestrian crashes up in 2010

We recently reported that fatal car accidents are increasing in Tennessee and across the country recently. Not surprisingly, fatal pedestrian accidents are on the rise, too.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the U.S. on average a pedestrian was killed every two hours, and one was injured every eight minutes in 2010. That year, fatal pedestrian accidents were up 4 percent from a year before.

Overall, the NHTSA says, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities in 2010, as well as 70,000 pedestrian-related injuries. Despite the year-to-year increase, the number of fatalities was still down by 13 percent from 2001.

Interestingly, the majority of the fatal crashes - about 80 percent - happened when pedestrians were crossing streets at non-intersections. About half of the fatalities occurred on weekends, and nearly half involved alcohol, either by the driver or the pedestrian.

Other statistics: Over two-thirds of the fatal crashes happened at night, and about 90 percent of them happened during clear weather. More than two-thirds of the victims were males. Also, pedestrian deaths made up 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2010.

Although some drivers involved were drunk or distracted, the same can be said of pedestrians. Anyone who is driving or walking near traffic should be vigilant about not getting distracted by cellphones or other digital devices. Keeping a proper lookout is not only the responsible thing to do, but it can be life-saving as well.

Source: CNN, "Pedestrian fatalities up 4 percent in 2010; non-intersection crossings most deadly," Jim Barnett, Aug. 7, 2012

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