Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2023 Preliminary Data (January-June)

Image of pedestrians walking in a crosswalk with text reading "Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, January-June 2023
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GHSA Publication

GHSA's data analysis, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2023 Preliminary Data (January-June), projects that drivers struck and killed 3,373 people walking in the first half of 2023 – down 4% from the year before but 14% above 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

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GHSA’s annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report offers the first look at state and national trends in pedestrian traffic deaths from January through June 2023 based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs). The data analysis found that 30 states (including Washington, D.C.) had fewer pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2023 compared to the year before, while 18 had more and three had the same. The data analysis was conducted by Elizabeth Petraglia, Ph.D., of research firm Westat.

A combination of factors creates this deadly situation for people walking on U.S. roadways. A steep drop in traffic enforcement across the country since 2020 has enabled dangerous driving behaviors – including speeding and driving impaired – to flourish. At the same time, roads are largely designed to prioritize fast-moving vehicle traffic instead of slower speeds that are safer for people walking. Many parts of the country lack infrastructure – such as sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting – that help protect people on foot. The U.S. vehicle fleet is increasingly dominated by larger, heavier vehicles that are more likely to injure or kill people walking.

GHSA will publish a second, comprehensive Spotlight report later this year that will include state pedestrian fatality projections for all of 2023, an analysis of 2022 data from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and an overview of proven strategies states and communities are employing to reduce pedestrian crashes and injuries.

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Chart showing changes in the number of pedestrians killed on U.S. roads between 2019 and 2023

Chart showing the pedestrian fatality rate between 2017 and 2023

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