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US Pedestrian Death Rate Increased 9x Faster Than Population During COVID

Streets Blog USA: Report: US Pedestrian Death Rate Increased 9x Faster Than Population During COVID – “Pedestrian deaths are continuing to skyrocket even as the pandemic wanes — and since 2019, the death rate for walkers has eclipsed the rate of population growth by a factor of at least nine, analysts say. U.S. drivers killed 3,434 people on foot in the first six months of 2022, an increase of 5 percent over the same period the prior year — and a staggering 18 percent increase over the number of walkers who died in early 2019, the last year before the pandemic, according to the latest fatality estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association. Those numbers can’t easily be explained by non-traffic-related factors, noting that since “2019, the last pre-pandemic year, pedestrian fatalities have surged 18 percent in just three years – nine times faster than U.S. population growth,” the report said. Estimates for the death toll in the second half of 2022 won’t be out until spring, but if the trend continues, it will mean an average of 19 walkers lost their lives on U.S. roads every single day last year. “It’s absolutely mind-boggling and heartbreaking,” Jonathan Adkins, CEO of the association, said in a statement. “The only way to reverse this awful trend is to do more of everything that works — more and better designed infrastructure to keep people walking safe, equitable enforcement of traffic safety laws to stop dangerous driving and engaging more communities where the impacts of this crisis are felt the hardest.”

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