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Pedestrian Deaths Are at an All-Time High

Pedestrian Deaths Are at an All-Time High

Over 7,508 pedestrians were struck and killed in the United States last year.

There were more pedestrians struck and killed by vehicles in 2022 than any other year since 1981.

Over 7,508 pedestrians were struck and killed in the United States last year, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit that representing state safety offices.

Between 2010 and 2021, pedestrian deaths increased 77 percent from 4,302 to 7,624, compared to a 25 percent rise in all other traffic fatalities. That's 2.37 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled.

"Everyone deserves to arrive at their destination safely, regardless of their transportation choice," it reads. "But people walking are facing increased and historic threats on America’s roadways."

While race and ethnicity data is "not yet available due to delays in processing death certificates," the report notes that "it is well documented that people of color are disproportionately overrepresented in pedestrian fatalities."

It also notes that Black individuals experience a pedestrian death rate 118 percent higher than their White counterparts, which "alarmingly" spikes to 236 percent in incidents occurring at night. Hispanic and Latino people are struck at night at a rate 84 percent higher than their White peers.

"The heartbreaking trend of increasing pedestrian fatalities on U.S. roadways begs the question: What can be done?" the report reads. "Every one of these deaths was preventable."

The report insists that "safety is proactive," and that safety issues in transportation systems must be addressed before they cause accidents. While updating and maintaining infrastructure is crucial, "equitable enforcement of traffic laws," as well as "addressing high-risk behaviors such as speeding or impaired and distracted driving can help prevent a crash from happening."

"By building a safer mobility system, with redundancies that avoid putting pedestrians in harm’s way in the first place and mitigate the effects of crashes that do occur, it is possible to prevent these tragedies from happening," it states.

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