When we think of car accidents our mind’s eye sees passengers and drivers inside of cars. But there is another group of victims of car accidents outside of cars-those being pedestrians. And surprisingly, even with the increased use of vehicles for even short errands, there has been a historic increase in pedestrians struck and killed in the US. And some states saw more car accidents involving pedestrians than others. These are the most dangerous states for pedestrians.
Pedestrians killed by cars ramped up 45% between 2010 and 2019
The number of pedestrians struck and killed by cars ramped up by 45% between 2010 and 2019. This is from data compiled by the Smart Growth America advocacy group. That number comes to 53,435 deaths of pedestrians or 14 people per day. The data shows that 2018 and 2019 were the two worst years for pedestrian deaths since the 1990s.
Except for one state, all of the states in the US saw increases in deaths according to US News. And most of the significant increases were in southern states based on the 2021 data. The SGA uses an index based on figures from both the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the US Census Bureau. The number of pedestrians killed in relation to the number of people who walk to work and a state’s overall population makes up the index number.
Based on this data Florida has a 201.4 danger index number making it the worst state for pedestrians. From 2010 to 2019 there were 5,893 pedestrian fatalities. The second state on the list is Alabama with a 174.6 index number. During the same period, Alabama saw 936 fatalities.
New Mexico and Mississippi came in third and fourth
New Mexico and Mississippi came in third and fourth. Their index numbers were 149.5 and 142.9 respectively. Rounding out the top ten states are Delaware, Louisiana, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas.
Besides states, some groups of people are more vulnerable to pedestrian fatalities than others. African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Native, older adults, and pedestrians in low-income communities are at the greatest risk. These groups are disproportionately represented in the data.
National Safety Council data shows that 2020 pedestrian deaths increased
Surprisingly, though 2020 saw a huge reduction in vehicle usage due to COVID-19 lockdowns data from the National Safety Council shows that pedestrian deaths increased. There was a 24% rise in fatalities, making it the largest increase in almost 100 years. “It underscores the nation’s persistent failure to prioritize the safety of our roads,” Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America at Smart Growth America, said. “When they became emptier, they became more deadly because the design of our roads encouraged people to drive quickly. And without congestion, there’s nothing to stop it.”
Whether due to people wanting to be healthier or out of necessity, there are more pedestrians out there. Hopeful, by reading this you’ll be more aware of these numbers whether you’re walking or driving.