(HealthDay)—For the second year in a row, U.S. pedestrian deaths hit highs not seen in decades, new data shows.
Greater use of marijuana and smartphones may be the reason why, the research suggests.
The annual pedestrian death tolls in 2016 (5,987) and 2017 (5,984) should serve as a warning, said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), which compiled the report.
“Two consecutive years of 6,000 pedestrian deaths is a red flag for all of us in the traffic safety community. These high levels are no longer a blip but, unfortunately, a sustained trend,” Adkins said.
“We can’t afford to let this be the new normal,” Adkins added in a GHSA news release.
Pedestrians now account for about 16 percent of all traffic deaths, compared with 11 percent just a few years ago.
The increase in pedestrian deaths has been accompanied by increased…