Pedestrian deaths are surging across the nation, and analysts are putting much of the blame on drivers and walkers who are looking at their smartphones instead of watching where they are going. Tipsy walking also is part of the problem, with one in three victims legally drunk when they were struck and killed.
The latest report on U.S. pedestrian deaths, from the Governors Highway Safety Association, estimates that last year’s total rose 11.6 percent to nearly 6,000, or more than 16 fatalities a day. If that projection proves accurate – it is based on a fatality records from only the first half of 2016 – it would mark the sharpest yearlong increase since federal officials began keeping such statistics in the mid-1970s. What’s more, it follows a big increase of 9.5 percent in 2015, and is outpacing the overall rise in traffic deaths.