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Delaware ranks third in pedestrian deaths

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WILMINGTON– Delaware ranks third among states for pedestrian deaths, according to the annual Governors Highway Safety Association’s Highway Safety Report. It ranked first last year.

“We shouldn’t take any solace in moving from first to third in pedestrian fatalities because it meant the whole country just got much worse more rapidly than us. Deadly pedestrian crashes continue to rise in Delaware,” said Jonathan M. Kirch, co-chair of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness.

The number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes rose 10 percent in 2015, according to the report. There were 35 pedestrian fatalities and 331 pedestrian crashes. In 2015, 27 percent of all highway fatalities were pedestrians.

“Even though Delaware is considered among the deadliest states for pedestrians, drivers don’t recognize the severity of the danger on our roads,” said Jim Lardear of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The worst state for pedestrian fatalities is Florida. Arizona is second. Delaware had a 1.27 rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 population. The U.S. average is .74.

Between Jan 1 of this year and March 6, there were six pedestrian traffic deaths, one fewer than the same time period last year. However, when AAA Mid-Atlantic polled 1,240 Delaware drivers recently, 59 percent said pedestrian safety is not a problem. When asked how often they stop or yield for crossing pedestrians, 72 percent said always, 23 percent said only near a marked crosswalk, 4 percent said only sometimes, and 1 percent said never.

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