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Did you know about the same people die each year, getting run over as getting murdered?

Which leads me to the awesome new Freakonomics on the subject. First off, they correctly point out that the best way to actually murder someone (& not get caught) is to run them over. Not kidding! Although I only recommend that in extreme circumstances.


Honestly, cars with self-driving assist capabilities are probably the best way to protect pedestrians along with smarter roadway design. Will people start paying better attention or text less while driving? Sure they will...haha.


At least 7,500 pedestrians died last year in America, the highest figure recorded for more than 40 years, according to the latest data from the GHSA.


Although only a preliminary result — with data so far collated from 49 states — the numbers confirm that the trend of rising pedestrian fatalities has yet to stop. Indeed, fatalities are up more than 80% compared with the safest year on record, 2009, when ~4,100 pedestrians lost their lives.


Why are pedestrians at risk?


Federal reports identify a few factors, including more dangerous driving during the pandemic as well as a lack of awareness and enforcement of laws that are intended to keep pedestrians safe. One author, Angie Schmitt, who explores the phenomenon in a recent book, also blames the rise in larger, heavier vehicles, as well as a generally aging population — who can be more vulnerable to accidents — for the increase in pedestrian fatalities.


Town planners have also been in the firing line. New lanes of traffic are often added to ease congestion, but that ends up limiting space for pedestrians. One traffic engineer blames the rise of “stroads”. The word refers to those that are some combination of “streets” — lower speed avenues where people can shop, dine and walk — and “roads” — which are designed to get cars from A to B quickly and efficiently. Places where the two are combined, without proper infrastructure like crosswalks and lighting, are reportedly responsible for a majority of the fatalities.

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