A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that pedestrian deaths across the country have hit a new high point, increasing by nearly 50 percent since hitting its nadir nine years ago.
The IIHS study also showed that the majority of the pedestrian fatalities occur at night, and involve an SUV or high-horsepower car. The accidents also tended to occur away from intersections and on busy roads that feed cars onto highways.
In 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed, the highest amount since 1990.
Pedestrian deaths have decreased significantly, about 20 percent, since 1975, but the IIHS acknowledges the recent increase could be attributed to people using their smartphones - though the authors caution that there isn't enough data to determine how much impact those devices had.
Ten people have been killed walking across a road just this year here in Los Angeles.
"Seven out of ten of those pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrians were at fault." LAPD detective Doug Larkin said. "There's more devices that we have, I guess, the need to look at while we're walking, biking or driving."
Pedestrians who are out walking around at night are encouraged to avoid wearing dark clothing, and to even consider wearing reflective material during the overnight hours.
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