The number of pedestrians killed rose to its highest level in nearly three decades, the U.S. auto safety agency said this week. More pedestrians and cyclists were killed in 2018 than in any year since 1990.
In 2018, deaths of pedestrians rose, compared to the prior year, 3.4% to 6,283. In the last decade, deaths of pedestrians have jumped by 42%.
Meanwhile, the number of people killed on roads while using bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles also rose in 2018, climbing 6.3% to 857.
Three-quarters of all pedestrian deaths take place at night, the U.S. auto safety agency said, while 38% of pedestrians killed had alcohol in their systems and 74% were not at intersections when hit.
Auto safety experts say the growing number of drivers distracted by mobile devices is at least partly to blame for the increase in deaths. Relatedly, the Governors Highway Safety Association said the increasing shift in U.S. vehicle sales, away from passenger cars and toward light trucks, is also a factor in the rising number of deaths.