A PEDESTRIAN, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is “any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down.
” As a recent NHTSA analysis of 2010 data shows, 4,280 of them were killed in traffic accidents across the country. “On average,” the report says, “a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.”
What’s especially worrying is that the 2010 data reveal a 4 percent increase in pedestrian deaths from the previous year — the first rise in five years. In more urbanized states, the figures seem to be spiraling out of control. Pedestrians account for 22.1 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California and 25 percent of those in New Jersey. In the District, the figure is a shocking 54.2 percent, the highest in the nation.