As more new vehicles roll off manufacturing assembly lines and dealer lots equipped with advanced safety features, it would be logical for consumers to think that there should be fewer people killed in automobile accidents. In some facets, this reality may be realized. However, there remains at least one population that appears to be experiencing an increasing number of fatalities – pedestrians.
Connecticut pedestrian fatalities
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 26 pedestrians killed in Connecticut in 2011. Those people represented 11.8% of all vehicular fatalities in the state that year. Fast forward to 2018, the last full year for which records are available, and the state recorded 60 pedestrian fatalities that accounted for 20.4% of all accident deaths. In 2017, 49 people on foot were killed in auto accidents that comprised 17.4% of all fatalities.
National pedestrian fatalities
The realities facing pedestrians in Connecticut appear to be consistent with those faced around the country. The Verge reported that nearly 6,300 pedestrians were killed across the United States in 2018, more than in any year since 1990. The pedestrian fatalities in 2018 represented a 3.4% increase over the prior year while total vehicular fatalities declined by 2.4% in the same time period.
Advanced safety features insufficient
A study conducted by AAA highlighted significant failures on the part of pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems to avoid collisions with foot traffic. Even during daylight hours and at speeds of only 20 miles per hour, the vehicles involved still hit the pedestrian dummies in six out of 10 instances. These systems have been known to be even less effective in dim lighting or dark hours.