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Fatal pedestrian accidents up 15% from 2010 to 2011, DPS says

Fatal pedestrian accidents up 15% from 2010 to 2011, DPS says

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SALT LAKE CITY — The year 2011 wasn't a good year for Utah's pedestrians; fatal accidents involving a car and a pedestrian accounted for 14 percent of crash-related fatalities, reaching the highest rate since 2002. Fatal crashes increased by 15 percent over that time.

The Utah Department of Public Safety recently released its annual crash summary, breaking down incidents, injuries and fatalities on the road. The report delves into age groups as well as month-by-month analysis of crash statistics.

In 2011, 866 pedestrians were struck by motor vehicles, 770 of which were injured. Thirty-two were killed.

Auto pedestrian accidents were almost 11 times more likely to result in a death than any other kind of crash, the report stated, showing the vulnerability of pedestrians unprotected by a vehicle.

Top 5 contributing factors of drivers in pedestrian crashes
  1. Failed to yield right of way (33 percent)
  2. Hit and run (14 percent)
  3. Driver distraction (8 percent)
  4. Vision obscured by weather (4 percent)
  5. Improper backing (4 percent)

Though pedestrian accidents accounted for only 1 percent of crashes, they accounted for 13 percent of deaths.

Some interesting and useful details emerged from the analysis. For instance, the highest rate of accidents occurred during the 5 p.m. hour, and were most likely between noon and 9 p.m.

Those most vulnerable to accidents during the time period were pedestrians aged 10-19 years old. Drivers were most likely to be in the range of 20-29, followed by 15-19 years old, though the driver age was unknown in over 15 percent of accidents.

The report found that 57 percent of drivers were under 40 years old, while 56 percent of pedestrians in crashes were under 25 years old.

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