Traffic deaths are down, but pedestrian and cyclist deaths are up
Fewer people are dying in car accidents in the U.S. (except in California, where it’s been raining lately and people have been very confused). Traffic deaths fell 1.9 percent in 2011, hitting their lowest level since 1949.
That’s great news for drivers, who haven’t been getting a lot of good news in their driver-lives lately. Here’s the bad news: Drivers are killing the rest of us. The Los Angeles Times reports on new federal transportation figures:
Federal officials highlighted the overall decrease in [traffic] deaths. But at least one traffic safety group said the figures were alarming, particularly a 3% increase in pedestrian deaths and an 8.7% increase in cyclist fatalities from 2010 to 2011.
“We are still concerned about the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians at risk on our roadways,” said Paul Oberhauser, co-chairman of the Chicago-based Traffic Safety Coalition, which is partly funded by the traffic safety camera industry. “This new report is a reminder we still need to be cautious and share the road.”
Speaking of sharing the road, today Bike Score, an offshoot of Walk Score, rolled out more city ratings for bikeability. It turns out even many of the towns we consider cycle-friendly — like New York and Portland, Ore. — are barely getting a passing grade.
So if you’re walking or biking around right now, and you haven’t died yet, congratulations! NOW STOP READING THIS.