Even as federal transportation safety agencies reported a decline in national traffic accident deaths last year, there was an increase in the number of people killed in car accidents in Hawaii.
Last year, there was a 2.9% decrease in traffic accident deaths in the US. However in Hawaii, there was a 3.7% increase in fatalities. In 2009, 119 people had been killed in automobile accidents. In 2010, that number increased to 113. In fact, last year’s fatality numbers in Hawaii are significantly higher than the 107 fatalities in 2008. However, they are a marked improvement from the 138 fatalities recorded in 2007.
Obviously, there is more traffic safety improvement work that needs to be done in Hawaii. For one thing, the state needs to focus harder on getting intoxicated motorists off the road. Hawaii still has some of the highest drunk driving accident rates in the country, and that needs to change for Hawaii personal injury lawyers to see any reduction in traffic accident fatality numbers.
However, even as overall traffic accident death numbers in the US declined, there was an increase in the number of pedestrians being killed in accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 12% increase in pedestrian accident fatalities in the country last year. Those fatality numbers increased from 4,109 in 2009 to 4,280 in 2010. That is a dramatic increase, and so far, there are no explanations for this increase.
Some of the blame is being placed at the door of pedestrians, especially the growing role of distractions among pedestrians. However, there is more to this increase than pedestrian distractions as any Hawaii car accident lawyer knows. It’s important for federal and Hawaii transportation officials to stop blaming pedestrians, and begin working towards measures to enhance pedestrian safety. They could start with more pedestrian safety aids, more numbers of clearly marked and designated crosswalks, and greater awareness about pedestrian rights among motorists.