Pedestrian Deaths in the US Hit a 30-Year High

November 13, 2020

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects 6,590 pedestrian deaths in the US in 2019. This is the highest number on record since 1988 and represents a 5% increase in pedestrian deaths as compared to 2018.

Pedestrian Death Statistics

  • Pedestrians made up 17% of all traffic-related deaths in 2019, as compared to 12% in 2009.
  • Pedestrian deaths increased by 53% between 2009-2018.
  • GHSA projects the pedestrian fatality rate to be 2 in every 100,000 of population, which is the highest rate since 1997.
  • 76% of pedestrian deaths occur at night (67% increase in the last decade)
  • 20% occur during daylight hours (16% increase in the last decade)
  • 4% occur at dusk

While you may assume that most pedestrian deaths occur on congested city roads or at busy intersections, the opposite is true. Most pedestrian fatalities occur on local roads, far away from intersections. 

What Has Caused the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths:

  • Distracted driving has increased
  • Smartphone use has increased by 400% from 2009-2018, presenting additional distractions to drivers
  • Poor lighting
  • Larger cars and SUVs are on the roadways (GHSA has found that pedestrians are two times more likely to die after being struck by an SUV versus a smaller car)
  • Drug and alcohol intoxication

What to Do if You Were Hit While Walking

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you must prove the driver’s fault to receive compensation. Fault can include negligence, which means the driver failed to act reasonably for the circumstances. To prove negligence, you must show that the driver owed a legal duty to drive safely, then breached that duty through a negligent act or omission (speeding, failing to perform a complete stop, running a stop sign, making an improper turn, etc). If the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their conduct could rise to the level of recklessness and conscious disregard of risk.

Often, pedestrians are confused and disoriented after an accident. The driver may use this as an opportunity to blame the victim. You should discuss your case with a lawyer who has experience in pedestrian accidents, even before you speak to your own insurance company. A trusted pedestrian accident lawyer may help you prove your case in the following ways:

  • Obtaining accident reports
  • Interviewing witnesses and collecting witness statements
  • Preserving evidence
  • Searching for video footage from local businesses, traffic cameras, or witnesses
  • Collecting expert statements

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Get Legal Help Today

The lawyers at Saladino & Schaaf have decades of experience helping accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation or call us at 270-444-0406 (Paducah) or 270-753-1529 (Murray) to find out if you are entitled to compensation.




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Pedestrian Deaths at an All Time High




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