U.S. pedestrian deaths remained high in 2017, highway safety group estimates

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Kara Macek, spokeswoman for the GHSA, said the organization could point to several possible factors in the high level of fatalities: increased exposure to danger as more drivers hit the road and more people move to urbanized areas, an uptick in distracted driving from cellphone use, or even an increase in accidents in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.
The GHSA report noted that in some states that have legalized recreational marijuana — Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia — pedestrian fatalities went up 16.4 percent in early 2017, while all other states saw a 5.8 percent drop.
“We lack causation data, but can see a correlation,” Macek said. “This is a red flag we need to look at as a country. We don't have a position on marijuana legalization, but we do have a position on getting people home safely.”