Study: Increase in deadly pedestrian, bicyclist accidents caused by distracted drivers

Study: Increase in deadly pedestrian, bicyclist accidents caused by distracted drivers

POSTED: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 6:21am

UPDATED: Monday, December 16, 2013 - 10:26am

An increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists are being killed by distracted drivers.

A new study found distracted driving deaths jumped 50-percent among pedestrians and 30-percent among bicyclists between 2005 and 2010.

About half of these deaths occurred during daytime hours.

Researchers said cell phone use and texting were to blame for many of the deaths, as well as using a GPS, radio, and eating behind the wheel.

Walkers and cyclists should be aware of the findings and be extra careful when on busy roads.

Cyclist Gabriel Dozal of El Paso said he was not surprised by the study's findings.

"I don't trust a car to realize that I'm there. I just assume that they don't know that I'm there," he said.

Dozal said it's important for cyclists and pedestrians to look out for those distracted drivers in order to ensure their own safety.

"I think on a bike you have to be aggressive rider, you have to take the lead. Also, make sure people see you, look at them in the face, wave at them," Dozal said. 

According to the El Paso Police Department, the number of accidents involving pedestrians this year decreased by nearly half when compared to 2011 to 2012.  There were no bicyclist deaths within El Paso city limits in both 2011 and 2012, but there has been one in 2013 with only four weeks left in the year.

2011                                             2012                                    2013
Pedestrian Deaths: 20                  Pedestrian Deaths: 23            Pedestrian Deaths: 12
Bicyclist Deaths: 0                       Bicyclist Deaths: 0                Bicyclist Deaths: 1

The numbers above are for all deadly accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists, and do not specifically reflect those caused by distracted drivers.

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