On Monday, 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein and 1-year-old Josh Lew were struck and killed by an out-of-control car while crossing the street with their parents in Brooklyn.
The driver, who police say may have been experiencing a medical condition, ran a red light before striking the pedestrians, according to NBC New York. Since 2016, the driver’s car has been issued four summonses for red light camera violations, and four more for school zone speeding violations, according to public records viewed by Staten Island Live.
The incident underscores a troubling trend in road safety in recent years: After decades of decline in the rate of fatal car accidents, numbers have crept back up in recent years. The trend is particularly pronounced for pedestrian fatalities: In 2016, the most recent year with complete Transportation Department data, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles on public roads.
That number is up by an alarming 46 percent since it hit a record low of 4,109 pedestrian fatalities in 2009. In raw number terms, 2016 had the highest number of pedestrian crash fatalities since 1990. Adjusted for population, in 2016 the rate of pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people was the highest since 1998.
Experts suspect the increase is driven by a number of factors. Last month, the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report noting that rising pedestrian fatalities are correlated with the growth in smartphone adoption and use. Although deaths related to distracted driving are, on the whole, trending downward, smartphone use could be affecting pedestrians, too, by making them less aware of their surroundings.
Read the full story at thecannabist.co.