Car crash deaths are down put pedestrian fatalities hold steady - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Car crash deaths are down put pedestrian fatalities hold steady

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YAKIMA, Wash- New information tonight, the roads are getting safer for some, but the State Patrol says there's one group that continues to lose their life. 

Fatal car crashes have dropped steadily over the last 10 years.  Nearly 200 less people died last year than in the year 2000. 

But pedestrian deaths have been steady in the last three years with 61 people on foot dying each year.  Since 2008, all of the pedestrian deaths in the Southwest Washington district have been in Yakima County.

The State Patrol says the rural roads with little or no sidewalk or pedestrian walkway are part of the reason.  But they say one group should take the majority of the blame.

"The number 1 causal factor behind car-pedestrian collisions is the pedestrian in the roadway.  It's usually at night and there's been a high percentage of the pedestrian that were struck and killed that were intoxicated", say Lt. Terry Liebrecht of the Washington State Patrol.

If you must walk in the roadway, The State Patrol advises wearing white or bright colored clothes, and walking on the same side of the road as on-coming traffic.