(WFXR) — Despite fewer cars on the road amid the pandemic, a new study shows the pedestrian fatality rate in the U.S. in the first half of 2020 increased by 20 percent compared to the first half of 2019.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2,957 pedestrians were killed by drivers on U.S. roads between January and June in 2020 — including 55 from Virginia — based on an analysis of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
This report shows that the number of pedestrian deaths from the first six months of 2020 is actually only six deaths higher than the number from the year before, despite a 16.5 percent decrease in the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) between 2019 and 2020.
In other words, the GHSA’s annual spotlight report projects that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate jumped to 2.2 deaths per billion VMT in the first half of 2020 compared to 1.8 deaths during the same period in 2019, which is an increase of 20 percent.
Most of these pedestrian deaths were the result of distracted driving, speeding, and other reckless behavior.
“When driving watch out for pedestrians in the crosswalks, walking and running along the streets, and children playing,” the Wytheville Police Department reminded motorists in a Facebook post on Wednesday, March 24.
If you want to read the GHSA’s entire report on pedestrian traffic fatalities, follow this link.