There are more pedestrians dying in traffic accidents across the nation and Ohio has an alarming number we all should be aware of. Ohio saw the largest increase in pedestrian traffic deaths than every other state in the country.
The numbers from the Governors Highway Safety Association show in the first half of 2014, Ohio had 25 people die. However, in the first half of 2015 56 people died. That's a 124 percent increase.
For our area, we requested records from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. For all of 2014 and preliminary numbers for 2015, some of the main counties in northeast Ohio experienced increases. Cuyahoga went from 5 to 10, Lorain from 1 to 5, Portage from 1 to 3, and Summit went from 2 to 4.
So why is this happening? Across the country, people are using cell phones so much that they're distracting walkers and drivers and experts say that is partially to blame. Other reasons include a better economy with low gas prices is allowing drivers more miles behind the wheel than ever before.
Overall, pedestrian deaths nationwide are estimated to jump 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. Plus, numbers show from 2009 to 2014 there were nearly 20 percent more pedestrian traffic deaths.
There was some good news in all of this. Lake County, Medina County, and Stark county all had fewer people dying from 2014 to 2015.