In an effort to reverse a growing trend of pedestrian fatalities, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued 11 safety recommendations to three key agencies in a Sept. 25 report.
The board outlined a three-pronged strategy for improving pedestrian safety that includes vehicle-based changes, infrastructure improvements, and better data collection in its Pedestrian Safety Special Investigation Report.
Specifically, the board issued eight safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two to the Federal Highway Administration, and one to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pedestrian fatalities have increased every year since 2009, with 5,987 pedestrians killed in 2016 due to vehicle crashes. On average, 15 pedestrians were killed each day in 2016.
The recommendations address a wide array of issues, including the need to include performance-based standards for vehicle headlight systems, development of performance test criteria for vehicle designs that reduce pedestrian injuries, and incorporation of pedestrian safety systems including pedestrian collision avoidance systems and other more passive safety systems into NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program.
"Pedestrian safety requires a multi-faceted approach of engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement and evaluation, so all road users are provided safe facilities and use them as intended," said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. "The time is right for advancing improvements in pedestrian safety and the NTSB is proud to provide our expertise in the national effort to address this safety issue."
The report will publish on NTSB's website in a few weeks.