Georgia has the sad distinction of being among the five states that, combined, accounted for nearly half the pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2018. Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas combined had 46 percent of all traffic-related pedestrian deaths last year, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, summarized in Governing, a publication for local and state governments.
On a national level 2018 was the worst year for pedestrian fatalities since 1990. Pedestrian deaths are also increasing as a percentage of all traffic-related deaths, from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent last year. Reasons for the increase vary from state-to-state, but the report attributes at least part of the rise to SUVs, which are more deadly in vehicle/pedestrian accidents.
According to the GHSA report:
States reported a range of changes in the number of pedestrian fatalities in the first half of
2018 compared with the same period in 2017:
- 25 states (and DC) had increases in pedestrian fatalities;
- 23 states had decreases; and
- Two states remained the same.
States differ widely in fatality numbers:
- The estimated number of pedestrian deaths for the first half of 2018 ranged from one in
New Hampshire to 432 in California.
- Seven states (California, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, New York and North Carolina –
in rank order) are each expected to have more than 100 pedestrian deaths – an increase
of two states from 2017.
- Five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas) accounted for almost half — 46
percent — of all pedestrian deaths.
- New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per resident population, while New
Hampshire had the lowest.
- States use various combinations of engineering, enforcement and education countermeasures
to address pedestrian safety, including targeted enforcement in conjunction with public outreach
The largest share of pedestrian deaths occur on local streets, at 35 percent, followed by state highways, U.S. highways, interstate highways, and county roads.