Although there a was huge drop in number of drivers on the road and the number of miles driven in 2020, new data from the Governor’s Highways Safety Association (GHSA) indicates that the number of pedestrians killed on road is the US in 2020 was 6,271, up almost 5 % from the previous year. Factors contributing to this spike were speeding, driving under the influence, and distractions for both drivers and walkers. Deaths of pedestrians walking after dark were up more than 50%, while minority populations were most affected. In Maryland, GHSA reported pedestrian deaths were up by 22% from last year. Continued public education focusing on pedestrian safety is key. Automated traffic enforcement with speed and red-light cameras; the use of speed humps in congested neighborhoods; crosswalk islands; and improved street lighting are needed. As Americans increasingly are getting out and about after the pandemic, these numbers are likely to increase without attention to this alarming trend.
Statistics provided by Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2020 Preliminary Data | GHSA
Blog provided by:
Kathy Noll, MSN, TCRN
Adult Trauma Program Manager
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD