Distracted driving is a concern in the construction industry for a number of reasons, and now a new report has released some startling statistics.

According to a new report from the GHSA, www.ghsa.org, a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of U.S. states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, pedestrian fatalities remained high in 2014. For this reason, drivers need to make sure they’re doing everything they can to ensure they are not creating hazardous road conditions—and yes, this includes distracted driving.

The GHSA has reported that based on the preliminary data provided by the 50 State Highway Safety Offices and the District of Columbia, an estimated 2,125 pedestrians were killed during the first half of last year, which is nearly the same number of pedestrian fatalities that occurred during the same period in 2013. The association predicts the total 2014 numbers will remain relatively unchanged from 2013, but the numbers will also likely indicate an approximate 15% increase compared to 2009.

By releasing this “first look” report at pedestrian fatality data—called the “Spotlight on Highway Safety: Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State”—the GHSA hopes to highlight the need for more vigilance from drivers who suddenly have a lot more going on behind the wheel, in part thanks to in-vehicle connectivity. While citing alcohol as a key factor in many fatal crashes, the association also cites distraction by both drivers and pedestrians as an increasingly disturbing contributor to pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

States are using a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement solutions to combat the problem. Education is key to helping drivers understand how to safely use connected devices and infotainment systems while driving. It is also key in helping them make decisions about when to refrain from device use all together. Only through continued education, along with innovative device and solution engineering and law enforcement, will roadways and highways be both safe and connected.

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #GHSA #distracted #driving #construction