So far, in 2012, 36 people have died in traffic crashes on Austin roads. The number is higher than at this time last year. According to police records, the average number of yearly traffic fatalities in Austin over the past decade is about 60. At the current pace, the city will surpass past averages.
Of continuing concern to local highway enforcement officials is the number of pedestrians who have died in accidents. Pedestrian fatalities made up almost 50 percent of the deaths.
A trend has emerged over the last several years with an increasing proportion of pedestrian deaths. In 2009 and 2010, pedestrians accounted for 25 percent of traffic fatalities. The number has since increased dramatically.
The overall increase in the number of vehicles, pedestrians and bikes on the roads may be a possible explanation behind the higher number of pedestrian deaths. The population of the city has increased almost three percent over the last two years.
However, population growth by itself does not fully explain the increase. Another life was lost just this past weekend in a fatal hit-and-run accident.