Pedestrian deaths start to increase in late summer and continue a steady increase through the end of the year, according to an analysis by the National Safety Council.
In fact, when viewed as a whole, more accidental deaths — specifically, drowning, pediatric vehicular heatstroke, gun fatalities, natural disasters and pedestrian deaths— occur during the two months of July and August than during any other two-month period of the year, according to the council.
Since 2009, pedestrian deaths have risen sharply to 7,330 in 2016.
However, pedestrian fatalities as a percent of all traffic fatalities began an upward trend several years earlier. In 2004, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 10.9% of all traffic fatalities, while in 2016 pedestrians accounted for 16% of all traffic deaths.
"Pedestrians are our most vulnerable roadway users. They are unprotected and, in many cases forced to use roadways not designed with pedestrian safety in mind," said Ken Kolosh, the council's manager of statistics. "It is important for fleet managers to discuss pedestrian safety with their drivers. We cannot forget that pedestrians are road users too, and they deserve safe passage just like everyone else."
The council has shared four additional insights from its 2016 data:
- Most pedestrians (82%) are struck by the front of the vehicle.
- Most pedestrian traffic deaths occurred in urban settings (72%) and on the open roads (70%) rather than in intersections (18%).
- In 28% of pedestrian fatality cases, the pedestrian was impaired by alcohol.
- The majority of pedestrian fatalities happened on Saturdays and at night (74%).
View additional information about pedestrian fatalities, at the council's website.