Pedestrian deaths largely flat in U.S., Maryland
The number of pedestrian deaths in Maryland decreased slightly over the first months of 2010 -- but not by enough to stand out as an identifiable trend. The state continued to rank among the most dangerous for pedestrians -- with one of the highest rates of such fatalities in the country.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 50 pedestrian fatalities in Maryland between January and June last year compared with 54 in the same period of 2009.
The small change reflected a national trend that showed pedestrian deaths almost unchanged despite a strong decline in traffic deaths overall. Nationally, there were 1,891 pedestrian fatalities ion the first six months of 2010 -- seven more than in the first half of 2009 for a statistically insignificant 0.4 percent increase. Overall fatalities are estimated by the federal government to have dropped 8 percent during that period.
Maryland was one of only four jurisdictions where pedestrians made up more than 20 percent of the total traffic deaths, the association reported. The others were the District of Columbia, New York and New Jersey. Nationally, 12 percent of those killed on the roads were pedestrians.
Maryland is also one of only three states, plus D.C., where the pedestrian fatality rate is more than 2 per 100,000 residents per year. The others were Florida and Louisiana.
Since 1999, Maryland's fatality count for pedestrians had bounced between 91 and 116 per year with no clear trend in either direction, said lead researcher James Hedlund.