Pedestrians | 2005

Pedestrians comprise the second largest category of motor vehicle crash deaths after vehicle occupants, accounting for 11 percent of fatalities. The rates of pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle crashes per 100,000 people also are higher for older people.

Pedestrian deaths occur primarily in urban areas. Many pedestrians are killed on crosswalks, sidewalks, median strips, and traffic islands. Physical separations such as overpasses, underpasses, and barriers can reduce the problem. Increased illumination and improved signal timing at intersections also can be effective. Because traffic speeds affect the risk and severity of pedestrian crashes, reducing speeds can reduce pedestrian deaths. Retting, R.A.; Ferguson, S.A.; and McCartt, A.T. 2003. A review of evidence-based traffic engineering measures to reduce pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. American Journal of Public Health 93:1456-63.

Vehicle factors count, too, because the most serious injuries often result from pedestrians being thrown onto the hoods, windshields, or tops of vehicles. Serious head, pelvis, and leg injuries are common, and the severity of such injuries could be mitigated by improving vehicle designs and materials.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Trends

A total of 4,881 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2005, up 4 percent from 2004. Since 1975 pedestrian deaths have declined from 17 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths to 11 percent in 2005.

Pedestrian deaths and other motor vehicle crash deaths, 1975-2005

Pedestrian deaths and other motor vehicle crash deaths, 1975-2005
YearPedestrian deathsOther deathsAll motor vehicle deaths
Num%Num%Num
19757,5161737,0098344,525
19767,4271638,0968445,523
19777,7321640,1468447,878
19787,7951542,5368550,331
19798,0961642,9978451,093
19808,0701643,0218451,091
19817,8371641,4648449,301
19827,3311736,6148343,945
19836,8261635,7638442,589
19847,0251637,2328444,257
19856,8081637,0178443,825
19866,7791539,3088546,087
19876,7451539,6458546,390
19886,8701540,2178547,087
19896,5561439,0268645,582
19906,4821538,1178544,599
19915,8011435,7078641,508
19925,5491433,7018639,250
19935,6491434,5018640,150
19945,4891335,2278740,716
19955,5841336,2338741,817
19965,4491336,6168742,065
19975,3211336,6928742,013
19985,2281336,2738741,501
19994,9391236,7788841,717
20004,7631137,1828941,945
20014,9011237,2958842,196
20024,8511138,1548943,005
20034,7741138,1108942,884
20044,6751138,1618942,836
20054,8811138,5628943,443

Nineteen percent of pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred in hit-and-run crashes.

Pedestrian deaths by hit-and-run occurrence, 1975-2005
YearHit-and-runNo hit-and-runTotal*
Num%Num%Num
1975908126,567877,516
1976949136,469877,427
19771,031136,682867,732
19781,133156,647857,795
19791,404176,681838,096
19801,429186,618828,070
19811,524196,290807,837
19821,369195,946817,331
19831,188175,623826,826
19841,224175,792827,025
19851,186175,604826,808
19861,227185,528826,779
19871,244185,486816,745
19881,286195,559816,870
19891,246195,293816,556
19901,210195,250816,482
19911,181204,603795,801
1992986184,542825,549
19931,016184,613825,649
1994970184,492825,489
1995971174,595825,584
1996965184,467825,449
1997912174,393835,321
1998879174,344835,228
1999850174,074824,939
2000796173,954834,763
2001866184,016824,901
2002866183,969824,851
2003856183,894824,774
2004865193,795814,675
2005949193,907804,881
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Age and gender

The rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people decreased 53 percent between 1975 and 2005 (from 3.5 to 1.6 per 100,000). The pedestrian death rate for children ages 0-12 decreased 85 percent. Children this age had the third highest pedestrian death rate in 1975 but in 2005 had the lowest.

Pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people by age, 1975-2005

Pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people by age, 1975-2005
Year<1313-1920-3435-5960-69≥ 70Total*
19753.62.72.43.04.19.33.5
19763.42.92.42.94.18.63.4
19773.12.82.72.94.69.03.5
19783.22.92.93.04.27.63.5
19792.93.23.23.04.37.83.6
19802.73.23.33.04.08.03.6
19812.42.93.32.93.67.43.4
19822.22.93.22.83.36.33.2
19832.12.52.92.53.35.92.9
19842.12.32.92.63.36.23.0
19852.12.32.72.63.16.12.9
19862.02.32.82.52.75.92.8
19872.02.12.62.63.25.82.8
19882.01.92.72.53.16.32.8
19891.71.72.62.62.95.72.7
19901.61.72.52.53.05.62.6
19911.41.82.32.12.44.82.3
19921.31.62.12.22.54.52.2
19931.31.62.12.12.54.42.2
19941.31.42.02.12.34.42.1
19951.21.52.02.22.54.32.1
19961.11.42.02.22.54.02.1
19971.01.41.92.12.53.82.0
19980.91.31.82.12.33.91.9
19990.91.21.62.02.13.51.8
20000.81.21.51.91.93.21.7
20010.71.21.52.01.93.41.7
20020.61.21.51.92.23.21.7
20030.61.21.51.92.03.01.6
20040.61.01.51.91.92.91.6
20050.51.11.62.01.92.91.6
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

More details: population and number of pedestrian deaths

Pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people by age, 1975-2005
Year<1313-1920-3435-5960-69≥ 70
PopulationNumRatePopulationNumRatePopulationNumRatePopulationNumRatePopulationNumRatePopulationNumRate
197545,851,3041,6323.629,795,0237962.750,998,0981,2362.457,233,2281,6943.017,531,6017264.114,563,9451,3489.3
197645,000,7041,5223.429,909,4148552.952,745,0051,2922.457,600,0601,6512.917,819,8617354.114,960,1201,2918.6
197744,337,3321,3903.129,800,3138352.854,497,4481,4872.758,124,4261,6682.918,078,6578374.615,401,2491,3839.0
197843,907,4671,4193.229,543,2528682.955,909,0631,6042.959,035,8631,7793.018,312,3597774.215,876,5411,2147.6
197943,778,9591,2912.929,077,6079233.257,499,1971,8323.259,699,8151,8133.018,611,2927924.316,388,6171,2777.8
198043,914,3421,1832.728,486,4879063.258,814,3911,9193.360,159,3841,7923.018,952,1387504.016,897,9771,3448.0
198144,049,9401,0642.427,743,9477972.960,563,4162,0023.360,528,2891,7582.919,257,3026973.617,322,7141,2787.4
198244,131,5969862.227,160,5867932.961,099,5241,9253.261,918,2071,7152.819,570,6956533.317,783,8881,1246.3
198344,119,2979442.126,737,4976712.561,840,1541,7922.963,079,6501,5912.519,781,5546433.318,233,7511,0815.9
198443,978,0449352.126,435,8856152.362,491,2551,8292.964,239,8021,6862.620,016,8596653.318,662,9381,1646.2
198544,260,1369252.126,001,2475922.362,961,1541,6872.765,378,8821,6852.620,249,5286213.119,072,7851,1706.1
198644,755,4549132.025,592,4815842.363,115,8891,7512.866,802,9261,7022.520,402,6115522.719,463,4801,1575.9
198745,348,2478982.025,209,6155182.163,032,2981,6562.668,290,3741,7812.620,517,6726543.219,890,8171,1605.8
198845,942,9669052.025,004,4454871.962,784,7391,7032.769,852,0551,7732.520,612,3516323.120,302,2801,2716.3
198946,690,6047861.724,664,3004211.762,494,0561,6482.671,581,3531,8392.620,669,4096032.920,719,3971,1805.7
199047,472,5277681.624,404,7954231.762,282,6831,5842.573,444,2371,8042.520,695,8716313.021,164,2831,1955.6
199148,240,7476951.424,066,5874371.862,025,7501,4442.375,460,3321,6152.120,607,7795022.421,751,8971,0444.8
199248,903,6686351.324,163,1753761.661,427,1001,2782.177,802,3761,7042.220,412,1635052.522,321,2179974.5
199349,335,8646441.324,664,0914021.660,582,3321,2942.180,150,5731,7022.120,249,0755062.522,800,6731,0124.4
199449,692,4626591.325,219,8383551.459,629,3511,1902.082,498,0051,7562.120,043,5204632.323,243,8451,0214.4
199549,920,4845971.225,764,3003891.558,712,4071,1922.084,740,7161,8472.219,971,6125042.523,693,7571,0084.3
199650,085,1885701.126,357,1983621.457,753,9101,1322.087,078,3291,8792.219,897,6244982.524,056,3239514.0
199750,364,9835131.026,730,8123711.457,046,5691,0831.989,395,0831,8772.119,837,3434972.524,408,8179313.8
199850,527,4764640.927,174,7283511.356,421,0539991.891,476,0941,9452.119,855,1014552.324,793,5519653.9
199950,667,1394490.927,518,1563331.255,961,4019201.693,490,3061,8842.019,961,0064252.125,092,8058853.5
200052,219,4234030.828,326,4123371.258,971,7098901.596,740,4341,8831.920,374,3053961.925,559,8798073.2
200152,341,3953630.728,437,7113461.259,465,0669111.598,425,5361,9702.020,634,9003871.925,797,4678783.4
200252,332,3063170.628,644,3133531.260,046,0689011.599,833,1721,9291.921,080,0354612.226,005,3268453.2
200352,187,6023270.629,028,5003481.260,599,3508991.5100,920,1201,9421.921,852,4584472.026,200,9467773.0
200452,151,4062930.629,400,3923051.061,003,2409451.5102,216,9581,9071.922,545,8904211.926,337,5187632.9
200552,149,3952760.529,589,8543261.161,180,7729761.6103,698,4072,0392.023,133,3074321.926,658,6697702.9
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

The rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in 2005 was approximately twice as high for people 70 and older than for those younger than 70. Since 1975 the rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people has decreased 50 percent for people younger than 70 and 69 percent for those age 70 and older.

Pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people by age, 1975-2005
Year<70≥ 70Total*
PopulationNumRatePopulationNumRatePopulationNumRate
1975201,409,2546,0843.014,563,9451,3489.3215,973,1997,5163.5
1976203,075,0446,0553.014,960,1201,2918.6218,035,1647,4273.4
1977204,838,1766,2173.015,401,2491,3839.0220,239,4257,7323.5
1978206,708,0046,4473.115,876,5411,2147.6222,584,5457,7953.5
1979208,666,8706,6513.216,388,6171,2777.8225,055,4878,0963.6
1980210,326,7426,5503.116,897,9771,3448.0227,224,7198,0703.6
1981212,142,8946,3183.017,322,7141,2787.4229,465,6087,8373.4
1982213,880,6086,0722.817,783,8881,1246.3231,664,4967,3313.2
1983215,558,1525,6412.618,233,7511,0815.9233,791,9036,8262.9
1984217,161,8455,7302.618,662,9381,1646.2235,824,7837,0253.0
1985218,850,9475,5102.519,072,7851,1706.1237,923,7326,8082.9
1986220,669,3615,5022.519,463,4801,1575.9240,132,8416,7792.8
1987222,398,2065,5072.519,890,8171,1605.8242,289,0236,7452.8
1988224,196,5565,5002.520,302,2801,2716.3244,498,8366,8702.8
1989226,099,7225,2972.320,719,3971,1805.7246,819,1196,5562.7
1990228,300,1135,2102.321,164,2831,1955.6249,464,3966,4822.6
1991230,401,1954,6932.021,751,8971,0444.8252,153,0925,8012.3
1992232,708,4824,4981.922,321,2179974.5255,029,6995,5492.2
1993234,981,9354,5481.922,800,6731,0124.4257,782,6085,6492.2
1994237,083,1764,4231.923,243,8451,0214.4260,327,0215,4892.1
1995239,109,5194,5291.923,693,7571,0084.3262,803,2765,5842.1
1996241,172,2494,4411.824,056,3239514.0265,228,5725,4492.1
1997243,374,7904,3411.824,408,8179313.8267,783,6075,3212.0
1998245,454,4524,2141.724,793,5519653.9270,248,0035,2281.9
1999247,598,0084,0111.625,092,8058853.5272,690,8134,9391.8
2000256,632,2833,9091.525,559,8798073.2282,192,1624,7631.7
2001259,304,6083,9771.525,797,4678783.4285,102,0754,9011.7
2002261,935,8943,9611.526,005,3268453.2287,941,2204,8511.7
2003264,588,0303,9631.526,200,9467773.0290,788,9764,7741.6
2004267,317,8863,8711.426,337,5187632.9293,655,4044,6751.6
2005269,751,7354,0491.526,658,6697702.9296,410,4044,8811.6
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Seventy percent of pedestrians killed in 2005 were males, a proportion that has varied little since 1975.

Pedestrian deaths by gender, 1975-2005
YearMaleFemaleTotal*
Num%Num%Num
19755,196692,319317,516
19765,120692,307317,427
19775,331692,400317,732
19785,494702,296297,795
19795,701702,391308,096
19805,613702,454308,070
19815,459702,332307,837
19825,144702,185307,331
19834,775702,050306,826
19845,016712,005297,025
19854,671692,133316,808
19864,771702,004306,779
19874,777711,967296,745
19884,756692,111316,870
19894,594701,959306,556
19904,495691,985316,482
19913,985691,815315,801
19923,867701,679305,549
19933,936701,711305,649
19943,757681,732325,489
19953,856691,728315,584
19963,780691,667315,449
19973,643681,677325,321
19983,558681,670325,228
19993,466701,472304,939
20003,251681,512324,763
20013,421701,479304,901
20023,298681,552324,851
20033,274691,499314,774
20043,237691,435314,675
20053,432701,437294,881
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Alcohol

Fifty-three percent of pedestrians 16 and older killed in nighttime (9pm–6am) motor vehicle crashes in 2005 had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent.

Estimated number and percent of fatally injured pedestrians ≥ 16 years with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent by time, 1982-2005
YearNighttime (9pm-6am)Daytime (6am-9pm)
Pedestrian deathsEstimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08Pedestrian deathsEstimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
NumNum%NumNum%
19823,0331,861612,91178327
19832,6121,684642,94078727
19842,6681,665623,04675025
19852,4671,528623,04071724
19862,5051,523613,00469423
19872,5211,446573,03571023
19882,5151,475593,14867421
19892,4221,445603,09572523
19902,4311,486613,02963321
19912,2011,295592,64658422
19922,0401,215602,67363624
19932,0311,212602,68163023
19941,9451,091562,65961523
19952,0411,150562,71663323
19962,0251,165582,62462724
19971,8821,041552,71458121
19981,8991,054552,66660823
19991,8711,071572,42356623
20001,743992572,41652922
20011,856980532,48256623
20021,893997532,44757624
20031,8431,000542,42854522
20041,845997542,37252322
20051,9561,038532,44747619

Where they died

Seventy-two percent of pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred in urban areas, up from 59 percent in 1975.

Pedestrian deaths by land use, 2005
YearUrbanRuralTotal*
Num%Num%Num
19754,401593,115417,516
19764,409593,013417,427
19774,997652,711357,732
19784,934632,748357,795
19795,309662,688338,096
19805,279652,698338,070
19815,066652,614337,837
19824,809662,455337,331
19834,477662,341346,826
19844,660662,360347,025
19854,586672,215336,808
19864,580682,197326,779
19874,631692,105316,745
19884,650682,216326,870
19894,620701,931296,556
19904,619711,855296,482
19914,053701,738305,801
19923,923711,597295,549
19933,949701,663295,649
19943,934721,543285,489
19953,914701,644295,584
19963,838701,596295,449
19973,699701,611305,321
19983,584691,611315,228
19993,400691,519314,939
20003,298691,376294,763
20013,437701,452304,901
20023,421711,418294,851
20033,479731,283274,774
20043,393731,274274,675
20053,507721,219254,881
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Thirty-five percent of pedestrian deaths among people 70 and older in 2005 occurred at intersections, compared with 21 percent for those younger than 70.

Pedestrian deaths by junction type, 2005
Junction type<70≥ 70Total*
Num%Num%Num%
Non-intersection3,19479503653,74877
Intersection85521267351,13323
Total*4,0491007701004,881100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Seventy-one percent of pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred on major roads, including interstates and freeways.

Pedestrian deaths by road type, 2005
Road typeNum%
Interstates and freeways79016
Other major roads2,67655
Minor roads1,22525
All road types*4,881100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

In urban areas 56 percent of pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or less; in rural areas 22 percent of deaths occurred on such roads.

Pedestrian deaths by speed limit and land use, 2005
Speed limitUrbanRuralTotal*
Num%Num%Num%
No limit9<16<118<1
<35 mph80523111993719
35-40 mph1,15633160131,36828
45-50 mph690202111793819
55+ mph63918691571,35728
Unknown20864032635
Total*3,5071001,2191004,881100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

When they died

Forty-five percent of fatal pedestrian motor vehicle collisions in 2005 occurred between 6pm and midnight.

Pedestrian deaths by Time of day, 2005
Time of dayDeaths%
Midnight-3am61713
3am-6am4379
6am-9am4339
9am-noon2896
Noon-3pm3227
3pm-6pm56812
6pm-9pm1,17724
9pm-midnight1,01021
Total*4,881100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

A greater proportion of pedestrian deaths in 2005 occurred on Friday and Saturday than on other days of the week.

Pedestrian deaths by day of week, 2005
Day of weekDeaths%
Sunday66014
Monday60712
Tuesday61613
Wednesday64213
Thursday65113
Friday81217
Saturday89218
Total*4,881100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

References