2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrian Safety


Everyone is a pedestrian, whether or not walking is one’s primary mode of travel. As a commute mode, walking is gaining in numbers. In its 2020 report, “Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2019 Preliminary Data” the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that pedestrian fatalities in the nation have increased disproportionately to other traffic deaths. Pedestrian fatalities as a proportion of total motor vehicle deaths increased from 12 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2018. Moreover, pedestrian fatalities increased 53 percent from 2009 to 2018 while other traffic deaths increased by 2 percent. Further, GHSA estimates 6,590 pedestrians were fatally injured in 2019, a 5 percent increase from 2018, continuing an increasing trend and the largest number of pedestrian fatalities nationwide since 1988. This report found that in 2018 the highest proportion of pedestrian fatalities (59 percent) occurred on non-freeway arterials, which often have higher speeds and few safe crossing areas.

Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
Publication date: 
August 5, 2020
Publication type: 
Fact Sheet