Study: Pedestrian deaths reach 30-year high

(CNN) - The number of pedestrians being killed in the United States has hit a 30-year high.

The number of pedestrians being killed in the United States has hit a 30-year high. (Source: CNN)

According to a new study, SUVs, drugs, alcohol, warm weather and cell phones are the reasons behind an increase in pedestrian deaths.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says more than 6,500 people were killed walking on or near a road in 2019.

That is the highest since 1988.

California, Florida and Texas have the most pedestrian deaths.

Between 2009 and 2018, the number of pedestrians killed yearly went up a staggering 53%, while all other traffic deaths only increased by 2%.

The study lists a number of factors that may have caused the increase, including distraction from smartphones and an increase in larger vehicles. Also mentioned is warmer weather, which the researchers say encourages more nighttime activity like walking and is associated with more drinking.

The GHSA also mentioned the decriminalization of marijuana in several states as a possible factor.

The study, however, does not discuss the culpability and responsibility of pedestrians.

The study suggests states and local communities focus on enforcement, engineering, education and emergency response in order to get a handle on the problem.

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