New GHSA report documents highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1981

June 27, 2023

According to a newly released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 7,508 people walking were killed by drivers in the United States in 2022, the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1981.

The report, "Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2022 Preliminary Data (January - December)" provides "pedestrian fatality projections for all of 2022 based on preliminary data provided by the states, an in-depth analysis of recently released 2021 pedestrian fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and a review of strategies to reduce pedestrian crashes, injuries and deaths." Also included are examples at the state and community level of efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries, with a special emphasis on how to prevent them in the first place by following the principles of the Safe System approach, a central focus of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Roadway Safety Strategy.

“Every day, 20 people go for a walk and do not return home. These are people living their daily lives – commuting to and from school and work, picking up groceries, walking the dog, getting some exercise – who died suddenly and violently,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins. “The saddest part is that these crashes are preventable. We know what works – better-designed infrastructure, lower speeds, addressing risky driving behaviors that pose a danger to people walking. We must do these things and more to reverse this awful trend and protect people on foot. Enough is enough.”

Download the full report and visit the report webpage for additional resources and report infographics.

Report FindingsInfographic showing people walking, rolling in a crosswalk, with latest alarming pedestrian fatalities.

  • Federal data show that U.S. pedestrian fatalities increased from 4,302 in 2010 to an estimated 7,624 in 2021. These fatalities represent nearly 18% of all traffic deaths in 2021, the highest annual proportion during this more than decade-long period.
  • Since 2010, pedestrian deaths have gone up a shocking 77%, compared to a 25% increase in all other traffic fatalities.
  • The 7,508 projected pedestrian fatalities in 2022 is up 1% from the year before and is the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1981.

This report follows an earlier release this year, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2022 Preliminary Data (January - June) that previewed state and national pedestrian fatality data and trends for January - June 2022.