WASHINGTON – A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report shows pedestrian fatalities across the nation rose by 4 percent in 2010. Newly released statistics indicate that 4,280 pedestrians died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2010 – up from the 4,109 pedestrian deaths recorded in 2009. 

Pedestrian deaths in 2010 accounted for 13 percent of all the traffic fatalities and 3 percent of injuries reported during the year. The majority of pedestrian deaths in 2010 (73 percent) occurred in urban environments, with nearly 80 percent of these deaths taking place at non-intersections and almost 90 percent in clear weather. Fully 68 percent of pedestrian deaths happened at night.

To prevent pedestrian deaths and injuries, NHTSA offers the following safety recommendations for drivers:

• Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.

• Be especially vigilant for pedestrians in hard-to-see conditions, such as night time or in bad weather.

• Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.

• Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.

• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They are stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street.

• Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Follow the speed limit, especially around pedestrians.

• Follow slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where there are children present.