One pedestrian killed per week in D.C. area

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The total number of fatal pedestrian crashes for 2014 increased to 53 after this article was published. A 73-year-old man was struck on December 18, 2014 and died in 2015.”

WASHINGTON — Fifty-two people were struck and killed by motor vehicles across the D.C. area in 2014.

In 2013, 45 were killed.

Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise locally and nationally. The latest numbers from police agencies in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, as well as Alexandria and D.C., suggest someone is struck and killed once every week in the region.

Men accounted for more than two-thirds of last year’s local deaths.  While the average age was 44,  about one-third were older than 60. The oldest was a 91-year-old man struck by a bus on U.S. 29 at Tech Road in Montgomery County.

In Prince George’s County, 21 lives were lost due to traffic collisions last year, nearly double the number killed in 2013. Fairfax and Loudoun counties also saw more pedestrian deaths over the past year.

The Metropolitan Police Department says 10 pedestrians were killed in the District in 2014, down slightly from 2013’s 12 deaths. Although data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that D.C. sees fewer fatalities than larger cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, the percentage of total traffic fatalities that were pedestrian fatalities is four times the national average.

Montgomery County saw slightly fewer fatalities in 2014 than in 2013. Of the nine that occurred, two were in parking lots. The rest were on highways with speed limits at or above 40 mph.

National numbers are more grim. According to a 2014 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, a pedestrian is struck and killed somewhere in the U.S. every two hours.

The study also found that the 4,743 deaths in 2012 represented an increase of six percent from 2011 and the highest number of fatalities since 2007.

Statistically, a person is most likely to be struck and killed between 8 p.m. and midnight.

The NHTSA defines a pedestrian as any person on foot — walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down — who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. Bicycle accidents, or those involving trains, are not included.

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