The National Center for Health Statistics estimates 7,330 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents in 2016. Non-traffic incidents occur on non-traffic ways such as driveways, parking lots or other private property. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 5,987 pedestrians died in traffic crashes occurring on public roads.  

NHTSA reports that in 2016 most pedestrian traffic deaths occurred in urban settings (72%), on the open road (70%) vs. intersections (18%), and at night (74%). The largest number of pedestrian deaths occur on Saturdays (1,036) and the majority of these deaths happen at night (806).

Except for a decline on Sundays, the number of pedestrian deaths during daylight hours is relatively consistent throughout the week. However, pedestrian fatalities at night vary substantially. Night time pedestrian deaths are at their lowest point on Tuesday and increase throughout the week, peaking on Saturday.

Distracted walking has recently been featured in the news, with a new law in Honolulu aimed at pedestrian phone users taking effect in 2017 and a similar law proposed in Chicago. Walking without paying proper attention to our surroundings can put everyone’s safety at risk, and no age group is immune. NSC is committed eliminating preventable injuries caused by distraction to both drivers and pedestrians.

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Source: National Safety Council tabulations of NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System data and National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2018, March-Revised). Pedestrians: 2016 data. (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 493). Washington DC: NHTSA.
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