Why are pedestrian fatalities spiking?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2022 | Pedestrian Accidents |

In 2021, 7,485 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents. It’s the deadliest number in four decades. Of the 254 deaths from motor vehicle accidents in New York City, 108 were pedestrians. The Governors Highway Safety Association is a nonprofit that represents state highway safety offices. Their report shows a spike in pedestrian deaths over the last couple of years.

The Governors Highway Safety Association report

In 2021, estimates show deaths from pedestrian accidents increased in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Dangerous driving is a cause of pedestrian accidents, but there are other factors. Road construction and poor weather factor into pedestrian and cyclist deaths. Drivers may be impatient and try to bully pedestrians with their vehicles. Pedestrians may wear dark clothes at night when the lighting is poor. The analysis from the highway safety offices saw changes from 2019 to 2021. The highest percentage increases were in Vermont, Kansas, Alaska and North Dakota.

Pedestrian fatalities spiking nationwide

Motor vehicle accidents were spiking nationwide, with 42,915 fatalities in 2021. Deadly car accidents saw a 10.5% increase from 2020 to 2021, the highest number since 2005. New York saw 2021 and the beginning of 2022 having the highest traffic fatalities since 2014. New York law requires drivers to stop until pedestrians are off the crosswalk. Pedestrians have the right of way at all crosswalks and intersections with crosswalks.

Reckless driving is a factor in pedestrian accidents, including speeding. Between 2018 and 2020, speeding-related pedestrian accidents involving children 15 and younger doubled. In 2018, about 6% of speeding-related pedestrian accidents involved children 15 or younger. By 2020, the statistics were almost 12% at a time while many children were remote learning. According to the report, most pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Most accident locations are at intersections or roads without paths for foot traffic.