How big is the problem?
In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 76,000 pedestrians were injured. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 7 minutes. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.
Who is most at risk?
- Older adults Pedestrians ages 65 and older accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths and an estimated 9% of all pedestrians injured in 2012.
- Children In 2012, more than one in every five children between the ages of 5 and 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
Additionally, higher vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and the severity of injury. Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, non-intersection locations, and at night.
How can pedestrians help prevent injuries and deaths from motor vehicle crashes?
- Pedestrians should increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- Whenever possible, pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder and facing traffic.