By Bill Maher
A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals pedestrian deaths in America are way up. And that’s just from White House staffers making a run for it. The report says nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 and pedestrian fatalities are at a 25-year high. Pedestrian deaths in Los Angeles alone have surged more than 80 percent in just the last two years. And that’s with Lindsay Lohan sober.
The reason for all this carnage? We’re distracted by our phones. Pedestrians consumed by their texts, their emails, and their Spotify playlists are walking into traffic. People playing Angry Birds are getting run over by Firebirds. And even if you’re not on your phone and crossing properly at the light, you may get plowed into by some driver distracted by their phone, trying to find a shortcut on Waze.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to pedestrian fatalities – phone distraction, more cars on the road, drunk driving, and even drunk walking. According to NPR, “33 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a pedestrian with a blood alcohol content above the legal driving limit.”
But here’s something new the report suggests – people are stoned:
“The seven states (Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) and DC that legalized recreational use of marijuana between 2012 and 2016 reported a collective 16.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2017 versus the first six months of 2016, whereas all other states reported a collective 5.8 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities.”
Think about that the next time you get baked, grab your phone, put in your ear buds and walk down to the Stop ’n Go for some Funyuns.