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Increase of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in 2020

Increase of Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in 2020

According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), fatal pedestrian accidents in 2020 rose by 21 percent compared to the previous year’s figure of 1.9 deaths – considered the largest annual increase since such data was collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) in 1975. What’s surprising about this figure is that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were fewer drivers on the road for most of 2020. 

GHSA research and projections consist of preliminary reports of pedestrian fatalities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although the final data has yet to be calculated, key findings from the data analysis project that 6,721 pedestrians were killed by drivers in 2020, which is up 4.8 percent from 6,412 deaths in 2019. 

The report highlights the following trends affecting the increase in pedestrian deaths last year: 

  • Speeding and reckless driving are the main causes – With fewer vehicles on the road in 2020, motorists took advantage of the open roads and drove faster and more recklessly. High-speed crashes involving pedestrians—especially larger vehicles with higher front ends—are devastating and nearly always fatal. 

  • Most pedestrian deaths happened on arterial roads – Most pedestrian deaths occurred on local roads, especially streets with many businesses and heavy foot traffic. Additionally, many of these accidents took place at night and away from intersections. 

  • Distractions are also a factor – Although drivers can be distracted by looking at their cellphones while behind the wheel, pedestrians can also be distracted in the same manner while walking. 

GHSA also analyzed FARS data from 2019 and found that pedestrian deaths have increased by 46 percent since 2010, while the number of traffic fatalities has increased by only five percent. In addition, three out of four pedestrian deaths in 2019 happened after dark. 

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver in Albuquerque, NM, call Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law at (505) 219-2176 or complete our online contact form today to request a free consultation. Our firm has nearly two decades of trial-tested experience! 


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