Pedestrian deaths in DC are now averaging more than one per week, according to WTOP. This average is based on data WTOP obtained from 10 local police agencies, which showed that there were 60 pedestrian deaths in DC in 2015. The 2015 total marks a disturbing trend, which has seen pedestrian accident fatalities in Washington, D.C. on the rise the last few years, going from 45 in 2013 to 53 in 2014 to 60 this past year.
Unfortunately, the District is not alone in the trend, as according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there has been a 15 percent increase in pedestrian accident-related deaths nationwide since 2009. There appear to be several culprits behind the rise in pedestrian deaths, including but not limited to:
In the WTOP report, the DC police say that nearly half of the bicycle accident and pedestrian deaths in DC since 2010 have happened on roads with high speed limits. In such cases, even if pedestrians and bicyclists do their part, such as obeying traffic laws and remaining aware of their surroundings, their chances of avoiding or surviving a collision if drivers are not following posted speed limits are slim to none.
Bottom line, drivers have to be ready to share the road, slow down and yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists if we are ever going to see the number of pedestrian deaths in DC, Maryland, Virginia and nationwide begin to drop.