Pedestrian deaths spike to a 40-year high across the U.S., new report says

Walking can be a deadly activity, and it seems to be getting more dangerous every year.

On the heels of record-breaking statistics on general traffic deaths earlier this month, the Governors Highway Safety Association released projections that show pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high in 2021.

The 37-page report says pedestrian deaths rose by 714 last year, an 11.5% increase to 7,485…

The study shows the majority of deaths are caused by the same types of problem driving — speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving — that have also contributed to the traffic deaths spike during the pandemic. ..

The study shows many of the deaths take place in dark areas at night, a total of 76% of the fatalities in 2020. The number of daytime pedestrian deaths remained relatively stable at between 1,068 and 1,311 from 2010 to 2020, but deaths after dark rose from 3,030 to 4,981.

Other conditions also are a factor, with far more pedestrians being killed in areas without sidewalks.