Pedestrian Deaths Continue Climbing

Pedestrian Deaths Continue Climbing

Pedestrian deaths continue to rise in the United States, with 7,522 people struck and killed while walking in 2022 – roughly the equivalent of three full Boeing 737 airplanes falling out of the sky each month for a year.

The latest Dangerous By Design from Smart Growth America includes pedestrian fatality statistics for the most recent year with complete federal data and ranks the largest 101 metropolitan areas. While the increase is 1.8 percent year-over-year, up from 7,388 deaths in 2021, pedestrian deaths in the last decade are up 25 percent compared to the previous 10 years. There were 61,459 pedestrians struck and killed from 2013 to 2022 compared with 45,935 from 2003 to 2012.

Florida continues to dominate the list with eight of the top 20 deadliest metros, despite two of those being among the few trending lower over the longer term.

Comparing five-year periods (2013-2017 versus 2018-2022), the largest 101 metros grew by 1.7 percent while the total number of deaths in those metros increased by almost 26 percent. The top 20 most deadly metros grew by 5.1 percent but total fatalities increased by 37 percent. Only 18 metro areas showed a decline in the long-term trend in the fatality rate.

Fast-growing metros in the South and Sun Belt are still the deadliest, keeping up with population growth or surpassing it. Urban areas are increasing in danger faster – up 61 percent – than rural areas, which are up 41 percent. Overall, traffic deaths are holding flat in rural areas since 2013.

Memphis, Tenn., is the deadliest city for pedestrian with 5.14 per 100,000 pedestrians who are hit and killed by cars while walking, almost three times the rate recorded in 2009.