By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A growing problem on Maryland’s interstates: dozens of people hit and killed while walking in the roadway.

Rick Ritter has more on the alarming report and what could be driving it.

More than 10,000 people have been killed nationwide along the interstate over the past 20 years. Officials say a good portion of those killed were under the influence.

A dangerous trend–one that’s becoming far too common. Time and time, first responders are called to the same horrific scene–pedestrians hit by vehicles.

“People seem to have no fears of walking in the street,” said Daniel Nemeth.

Since 1993, staggering numbers released by AAA Mid-Atlantic show 172 people killed along the interstate in Maryland–more than 80 percent of them are men.

“It’s more common than people think when you look at those numbers,” said Christine Delise, AAA spokesperson.

The study shows more than half the fatalities occurred when it’s dark outside and 77 percent of the people killed were located on the roadway. Officials say nearly half of those were under the influence.

“A lot of pedestrians are perhaps intentionally walking on interstates,” Delise said.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 has been over the scene of countless pedestrian accidents over the past year. From Anne Arundel County to Baltimore County, each scene is devastating.

“One fatality is concerning as far as we’re concerned,” said Sgt. Marc Black, Maryland State Police.

Sgt. Black says with the change of clocks, being alert on the road is more crucial than ever.

“As you’re driving, make sure you pay attention to someone that may be disabled on the roadway and give them that space as well,” he said.

It’s a message that must sink in to drivers.

“As long as everyone is paying attention hopefully we can get those numbers to go down,” said Nemeth.

Officials are reminding drivers to keep their headlights on during early morning and evening hours and remember to drive slower with the winter season approaching.

The study shows the most pedestrian fatalities happened in October; the fewest in February.

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Rick Ritter