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Arizona Has Highest Pedestrian Fatality Rate In U.S.

New figures this week show that Arizona has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the nation.

A Governors Highway Safety Association report found that in the first half of 2017, Arizona had an average of 1.61 deaths per 100,000 people, which was the highest average of all states. Arizona also had the fifth most pedestrian deaths in that period.

According to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, there were 224 such deaths in the state for all of 2017, as well as 30 bicyclist deaths. 

AGOHS director Alberto Gutier said one way to possibly reduce these deaths is to simply follow the rules.

“We’ve got to respect pedestrians and bicyclists," Gutier said. "Pedestrians and bicyclists need to respect vehicles, by doing things properly, in the right bicycle lanes or in the crosswalks.”

Gutier said some of the factors contributing to the high fatality rate included jaywalking, especially at night, pedestrians being distracted by cell phones and drivers being distracted by stoplights and failing to notice pedestrians.

Gutier also said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave his agency a grant to help educate the state on this issue, which will include public service announcements in English and Spanish on TV and radio.