Pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high last year, averaging nearly 20 deaths a day, according to a new report.
An estimated 7,485 people on foot were struck and killed by drivers in 2021, an increase of 12% from 2020, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
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"This is heartbreaking and unacceptable,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director for the association. “We must address the root causes of the pedestrian safety crisis, speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors, inadequate infrastructure, and roads designed for vehicle speed instead of safety, to reverse this trend and ensure people can walk safely.”
The percentage of children younger than 15 killed by speeding drivers has also more than doubled since 2018. Many of the fatalities occurred during periods when children would be traveling to and from school, the report said.
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Some of the contributing factors to the fatalities included speeding, impaired driving, and poorly designed infrastructure, such as roadways without sidewalks.