Report: U.S. Pedestrians Keep Dying at Higher Rates

Pedestrian deaths rose again in the first half of 2021, according to research from the Governors Highway Safety Administration.

2 minute read

April 10, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Pedestrian Safety

VDB Photos / Shutterstock

According to a press release from the Governors Highway Safety Association, "U.S. drivers struck and killed 3,441 pedestrians in the first six months of 2021, up 17% – or 507 additional lives lost – from the same period the year before."

The analysis found that, nationwide, there were 1.04 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, up from 0.90 in both 2020 and 2019. The data also shows that the rate of drivers striking and killing pedestrians rose to 2.3 deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first six months of 2021.

As the GHSA analysis shows, "A combination of factors that include a surge in dangerous driving that began at the start of the pandemic and has not abated, larger vehicles that are more likely to seriously injure or kill people on foot in the event of a crash, roads designed to prioritize fast-moving traffic over slower speeds that are safer for pedestrians, and inadequate infrastructure such as sidewalks and lighting in many parts of the country."

GHSA recommends combating this crisis with the Safe Systems approach, which relies on five key elements and which has inspired the Vision Zero movement. " Each of the five elements of the Safe System approach – safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and post-crash care – contribute in different ways to provide this multi-layered safety net that can protect people outside of vehicles."

The press release states that "GHSA will publish a second, comprehensive Spotlight report this spring that will include state fatality projections for all of 2021, an analysis of recently released 2020 data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and an overview of proven strategies states and communities are employing to reduce pedestrian crashes and injuries."

Thursday, April 7, 2022 in Governors Highway Safety Association

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