• Kenneth Powell

How Many Pedestrians Are Killed Each Year?

It is a sad fact that in America, our society still views pedestrians as second-class citizens. In fact, they are individuals who deserve equal consideration when it comes to safety. Statistics show that in 2012, 11,923 pedestrians died in the United States, and over the past decade, the number has remained relatively consistent at around 10,000 deaths per year.


In the United States, thousands of pedestrians are killed on the road every year. That's a shocking amount of deaths, and it's a number that continues to grow each year. But the number is staggering because while the number of people killed in car accidents has been going up at a fairly steady rate, pedestrian deaths have been going up at a much faster rate. That means that while the overall number of deaths on the road has been going up, the number of pedestrians killed by cars has been going up much faster. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact pedestrian accident law firms in St Louis MO.


Who is most at risk?

Who is most at risk?


It's a well-known statistic that more pedestrians are killed annually by cars than any other cause. About 20,000 are killed each year in the U.S. alone, which is more than the number killed by guns, alcohol, and drug overdoses combined. Between 2007 and 2015, the death toll from cars was more than twice as high as the next largest killer, drugs. What's more, most of these deaths happen on roads and highways that pedestrians heavily use but lack lane dividers, pedestrian crosswalks, or other traffic-calming features that might protect those on foot.


Pedestrians and Alcohol influenced drivers


Alcohol-impaired drivers pose a surprisingly low risk to other drivers on the road. They also pose a huge risk to pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is involved in about one in five pedestrian fatalities. That's almost as many as the number of people killed by drivers under the influence of other drugs, which includes cocaine, heroin, and meth.


Children and Older adults


It may surprise you to learn that roughly 20% of the pedestrian deaths as well as injuries in the United States each year are due to older pedestrians, and the age group is also the most common age for pedestrians killed and injured in traffic crashes. Similarly, 1 in every 5 children below 15 years old victims of fatal traffic crashes in 2017 were pedestrians.


Other Risk Factors


The tragic deaths of pedestrians are something that is on the mind of many drivers. While many are shocked to learn that many pedestrians are killed because of their own carelessness, the issue remains serious. The majority of pedestrian deaths occur at night, at non-intersection locations, and in urban areas. This means the way pedestrians are killed is very different from what happens when they are killed by other means.


The most dangerous place for pedestrians is not in the presence of a car but in an urban area with no sidewalks or crosswalks at intersections or where the crosswalks are poorly designed. A study released by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) found that pedestrians are killed more frequently in urban areas that do not have sidewalks or crosswalks at intersections. Furthermore, about 21 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas without crosswalks, while only 10 percent occurred in urban areas with crosswalks.


The sad reality of it is that there is no one size fits all answer to the question of how to prevent this increasing rate of pedestrians being killed. It's not enough to be vigilant and avoid distractions while walking, of course. Just like drivers, pedestrians need to be trained to pay attention, especially while crossing roadways. This can be accomplished by adding crosswalks in areas without them or by adding extra signs or markings to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians.


The sad reality of it is that there is no one size fits all answer to the question of how to prevent this increasing rate of pedestrians being killed. It's not enough to be vigilant and avoid distractions while walking, of course. Just like drivers, pedestrians need to be trained to pay attention, especially while crossing roadways. This can be accomplished by adding crosswalks in areas without them or adding extra signs or markings to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians.