How many people are injured in crosswalks each year? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Pedestrian injuries in crosswalks are a significant concern here in Virginia and across the country. The number of pedestrians injured in killed in accidents is alarming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2021 (the most recent year released):

  • There were 7,388 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes, a 12.5 percent increase from the 6,565 pedestrian fatalities in 2020. This is the highest since 1981 when 7,837 pedestrians died in traffic crashes.
  • There were an estimated 60,577 pedestrians injured in traffic crashes, an 11 percent increase from 54,771 pedestrians injured in 2020.
  • On average, a pedestrian was killed every 71 minutes and injured every 9 minutes in traffic crashes.
  • Pedestrian deaths accounted for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes.
  • Fifteen percent of the children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
  • Seventy percent of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes were males.
  • Alcohol involvement (blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of .01 grams per deciliter [g/dL] or higher) – for the driver and/or the pedestrian – was reported in 49 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes.
  • More pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban areas (84 percent) than rural areas (16 percent.
  • Sixteen percent of the pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections, 75 percent occurred at locations that were not intersections, and the remaining 9 percent occurred at other locations.
  • More pedestrian fatalities occurred in the dark (77 percent) than in daylight (20 percent), dusk (2 percent), and dawn (2 percent).
  • Eighty-nine percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in single-vehicle crashes.
  • Nearly one out of every four pedestrians killed in traffic crashes (23 percent) were struck by hit-and-run drivers.

Key factors that can contribute to pedestrian injuries in crosswalks include:

Population Density and Urbanization

Urban areas tend to have more crosswalks and a higher number of pedestrians, which can result in a greater likelihood of pedestrian accidents.

Traffic Volume

The volume of vehicular traffic passing through an area can impact the likelihood of pedestrian accidents. High-traffic areas may experience more incidents, especially during peak travel times.

Crosswalk Infrastructure

The design and condition of crosswalks play a crucial role in pedestrian safety. Well-marked and well-lit crosswalks are generally safer than those with poor visibility or inadequate signage.

Driver Behavior

Motorist behavior, including speeding, distracted driving, and failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, can significantly influence the number of injuries in crosswalks.

Pedestrian Behavior

Pedestrian actions, such as jaywalking, not using crosswalks, or ignoring traffic signals and signs, can increase the risk of accidents.

Weather Conditions

Inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or fog, can reduce visibility and road conditions, increasing the risk of pedestrian accidents.

Enforcement and Education

The level of law enforcement and public awareness campaigns related to pedestrian safety can affect accident rates.