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March 20, 2019

The number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has grown sharply in recent years. In the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, they increased by 35 percent (from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017). At the same time, the combined number of all other traffic deaths declined by 6 percent.

A preliminary report from the Governors Highway Safety Association underlines the worrying trend. In New Jersey, the figure for pedestrian fatalities in 2017 was 67; in 2018, it was 73, marking a 9 percent increase. The highest percentage increase was in Hawaii (1,800 percent), but that shocking figure is deceptive. The number of fatalities in Hawaii went from one in 2017 to 19 in 2018. At the other end of the spectrum was New Hampshire, which had the fortune to have fewer pedestrian fatalities in 2018 (1) than in 2017 (5), an 80 percent decline.

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