Reducing Speed and Alcohol Impairment Key to Preventing Pedestrian Deaths

Resource Type
News Releases

May 8, 2018

CONTACT: Madison Forker,
202-789-0942 x120

Statement for Attribution to Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins

WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this year, GHSA projected nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2017 on U.S. roads for the second year in a row. By analyzing where, when and why pedestrian fatalities most often occur, today’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report reinforces what needs to be done to curb these preventable tragedies through strong engineering, enforcement and education measures.

Reducing motor vehicle speed is essential to both avoid and mitigate the severity of pedestrian crashes. We know that enforcing speed limits through traditional and automated means can have a dramatic effect at getting drivers to slow down. Speed can no longer be a forgotten issue if we are going to significantly reduce deaths and injuries for all road users.

Expanding the alcohol impairment message is also important. Comparing 2009 and 2016, IIHS found a 38% increase in pedestrians killed in crashes with BACs of .08 or higher. As IIHS previously recommended in 2017, public awareness campaigns aimed at reducing impaired driving should be broadened to include all roadway users, including pedestrians.

Additionally, education and enforcement efforts must work in tandem with infrastructure improvements, utilizing tools such as roundabouts and road diets to decrease driver speed and consider the safety of all road users as roadways are designed and re-engineered.

GHSA’s Everyone Walks report makes many of these same recommendations, calling for states to take new steps to combat speeding, expand their impaired driving programs to all road users, and educate the public on the importance of engineering and design changes that will improve safety outcomes for everyone.

GHSA is grateful for IIHS’ commitment to understanding the common threads in pedestrian fatalities and calling for action to prevent these tragedies. GHSA will continue to work with our members and partners on the road to zero traffic deaths.

#  #  #

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.