Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2021 Preliminary Data

Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State 2021
Resource Type
Spotlight on Highway Safety

GHSA's annual spotlight report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2021 Preliminary Data, offers the a comprehensive look at state and national trends in pedestrian deaths for 2021. The report projects that drivers struck and killed 7,485 people walking in 2021 – the most in a single year in four decades.

Download the Report

Download the January-June Preliminary Report

GHSA previously issued a report finding there were 2,957 pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2021, based on preliminary data reported by State Highway Safety Offices. A second report analyzing data for all of 2021 found that roadways continued to be extremely dangerous to pedestrians. Nationwide for the entire year, there were 2.32 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2021, up slightly from 2.3 the year before but well above the historic average of 1.9. In addition to the preliminary 2021 state-reported data, the report also analyzes 2020 data in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to further explore safety trends. That data analysis revealed a troubling statistic: The percentage of speeding-related pedestrian deaths among children younger than 15 has more than doubled since 2018, from 5.8% to 11.9%.

The report examines key trends affecting this rise in pedestrian deaths, including increased reckless driving behaviors, the need for safer road crossings and efforts to make pedestrians more visible through better lighting and other strategies, and the continued uptick in sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which cause more severe pedestrian impacts in the event of a collision. The report also discusses how the comprehensive Safe System approach that leverages engineering, public education, emergency response and equitable enforcement is essential for reducing crashes and saving lives, and shares examples of successful programs that keep people on foot safe and can be replicated elsewhere in the country.

Infographics Available for Download

JPEGs of the following infographics are available for download under "Resource Downloads" below.

Pedestrian Deaths Are Increasing Faster Than All Other Traffic Fatalities

7,485 Pedestrians Were Killed In Traffic Crashes in 2021

Pedestrian Fatality Rate Remains at Historically High Level in 2021

Speeding Cited as Factor in More Pedestrian Deaths

Resource Category
Publication