Pedestrian fatalities have been climbing since 2009 and are currently at the highest level in decades, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While the number of miles traveled on American roads increased by 7.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities during that period increased by more than 27 percent. As of 2017, pedestrians accounted for 16.1 percent of all traffic-related fatalities.
The NHTSA reports that in nearly half of traffic crashes that resulted in a pedestrian fatality, the driver and/or the pedestrian had consumed alcohol before the crash. In addition, a 2018 report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration points to the widespread use of smartphones as a potential explanation for the rise in fatal pedestrian accidents. Cell phone use quintupled in the period between 2010 and 2017 as pedestrian fatalities also increased significantly. However, there’s insufficient evidence to establish a definitive causal link between the two trends.
Nationwide, the pedestrian fatality rate in 2017 was 1.7 per 100,000 people; however, certain demographic groups experience significantly higher rates. Adults in the U.S. over age 50 suffer from more pedestrian fatalities than younger Americans. Seniors between 80-89 experience the highest pedestrian fatality rates, while children under 10 experience the lowest rates.
The overall pedestrian fatality rate for men (2.4 per 100,000) is more than double the rate for women (about 1 per 100,000). Similarly, American Indians and Blacks suffer from much higher pedestrian fatality rates than the national average, at 6.2 per 100,000 and 2.7 per 100,000, respectively. By contrast, Asians and Whites are less likely than average to be victims of a fatal accident.
While the nationwide pedestrian fatality rate in 2017 was 1.7 per 100,000 people, some parts of the U.S. are more prone to pedestrian fatalities than others. NHTSA data shows that 80 percent of pedestrian fatalities took place in urban areas, compared to just 20 percent in rural areas.
To find which of these urban areas are most dangerous for pedestrians, researchers at 360 Quote analyzed pedestrian fatality statistics from the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 2013-2017 and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Across the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the most dangerous cities for pedestrians tend to be located in the South or the West, and 15 of the top 20 cities experienced an increase in pedestrian fatalities over the past five years.
The analysis found that among the 200 largest U.S. cities, Dallas, TX has the 20th highest rate of pedestrian fatalities. Here is a summary of the data for Dallas:
- Pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k (2.2X higher than U.S. average)
- Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 244
- 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 36.8%
- Pedestrian fatalities in low light condition: 82.4%
- 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 4.2 per 100k
- Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 3.8 per 100k.
For reference, here is the data for the entire United States:
- Pedestrian fatality rate: 1.7 per 100k
- Total pedestrian fatalities (past 5 years): 27,338
- 5-year change in pedestrian fatalities: 27.1%
- Pedestrian fatalities in low light conditions: 76.9%
- 65+ pedestrian fatality rate: 2.2 per 100k
- Minority pedestrian fatality rate: 2.1 per 100k.
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, visit https://www.quoteinspector.com/deadliest-cities-for-pedestrians/ .
SOURCE National Highway Traffic Safety Administration