From impatient drivers to out-of-control vehicles, pedestrians face many dangers on the road. The risk for pedestrians is just a part of larger problems surrounding travel and road safety.

2.50 million people were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021 alone. Of this, 117,081 were pedestrians. Of the 42,939 deaths in the same year, 17% were pedestrians.

Regardless, pedestrian injuries cause immense disruptions to people’s lives and livelihoods. It is essential to understand factors that influence death, injuries, and overall trends in pedestrian accidents.

Check out these statistics on pedestrian accidents, fatalities, and injuries to know more!

Editor’s Choice

  • 1,802 hit-and-runs were recorded in 2021.
  • Drivers at fault stop for victims 60% of the time if they are children.
  • In pedestrian collisions, drivers slow down 6.6% more for women than men.
  • 74% of vehicle crashes involving pedestrians occur without traffic control.
  • 80% of deaths show pedestrians at fault.
  • Only 60% of pedestrians expect drivers to stop on crosswalks.
  • Hit-and-runs caused 24% of pedestrian deaths.
  • 17% of all motor vehicle crash deaths are pedestrians.
  • 70% of total pedestrian deaths in 2021 were males.
  • 16-year-olds and under are most likely to be hit by vehicles.

How Many Pedestrians Are Injured Each Year?

The WHO estimates that around 1.24 million people die annually in road traffic crashes. More than 270,000 pedestrians are killed by this, making it 22% of all road deaths.

People aged 20 to 69 have the most significant pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle incidents in the United States per 100,000 people. A total of 7,388 pedestrian deaths also occurred in 2021.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Pedestrian accident statistics show the prevalence of hit-and-runs on U.S. roads. Other factors such as gender, pedestrian behavior, stress, and expectations as essential to understanding why and how pedestrian collisions occur.

Check out these numbers to learn more about pedestrian accidents!

1. 1,802 hit-and-runs were recorded in 2021.


Drivers often panic due to the stress of accidents, causing them to run away instead of facing the consequence of the crash and helping injured pedestrians. The risks for victims involved in hit-and-runs also increase because of the delay of emergency medical services.

Hit-and-run charges can also vary from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the judicial state.

2. Drivers at fault stop for victims 60% of the time if they are children.

(AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Accident Analysis, and Prevention)

Drivers were recognized 60% of the time in accidents involving kids between 6 and 15. In contrast, 39% of drivers were recognized among people aged 31 to 55. 

These drivers are also less likely to flee when the victim is 66 or older. The age-associated differences are likely because of lighting conditions during the crash and driver’s remorse for younger and older victims.

3. 1 out of 5 accidents at intersections involve a vehicle and a pedestrian.


Visual disruptions can lead to accidents at intersections. For one, left-turning drivers will likely face at least three different traffic signals at intersections. Studies also show that vehicle drivers have different interpretations of some traffic signals.

The cognitive load of handling multiple tasks simultaneously, such as interpreting signs, maneuvering, and checking for other cars, can contribute to driver concentration problems.

4. Drivers involved in pedestrian crashes stop 6.6% more for women than men.

(AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, NLM, Injury Epidemiology)

Gender is a significant factor in hit-and-runs and pedestrian deaths. Males were 2.3% more likely to die in a pedestrian crash than women. Recent studies attribute this disparity to behaviors such as women being out and walking less at night.

5. 74% of vehicle crashes involving pedestrians occur without traffic control.

(Arizona State University, Absolute Traffic Management)

Traffic control systems ensure the safety of both pedestrians and motorists. It directs vehicles and minimizes delays, especially in intersections. Without traffic control, an area is more likely to have accidents and more injuries.

6. 80% of deaths show pedestrians at fault.

(Arizona State University)

Pedestrian behavior is a massive determinant in overall pedestrian deaths. Some of these behaviors include:

  • Not following pedestrian walk signals
  • Crossing in streets without a crosswalk
  • Crossing outside a crosswalk
  • Ignoring pedestrian pathways
  • Not yielding
  • Jogging in the wrong direction
  • Standing in between parked cars

Jaywalking is also cited as one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents and deaths. 

7. Only 60% of pedestrians expect drivers to stop on crosswalks.

(NHTSA,  Wisconsin Department of Transportation)

Even though they have the right-of-way, pedestrians do not think drivers stop when they cross the road in designated crosswalks. A study in Wisconsin revealed that pedestrians feel that drivers do not yield to them at legal crossings of major four-lane roadways. 

36% thought that drivers would stop for them at marked crosswalks. 22% thought that drivers would yield at unmarked crosswalks.

Pedestrian Death Statistics

A considerable fraction of all traffic-related fatalities each year involve pedestrians, among the most vulnerable road users. Overall, statistics show that many pedestrian deaths occur in urban environments, at night and involving alcohol. 

Let’s get to know the statistics of pedestrian deaths. 

8. Hit-and-runs caused 24% of pedestrian deaths.

(IIHS, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)

Estimates pointed to 737,100 hit-and-runs in the U.S. in 2015. This means that there is a hit-and-run on U.S. roads every 43 seconds. Hit-and-runs can increase pedestrian fatalities by depriving pedestrians of necessary injury treatment.

New Mexico, Louisiana, and Florida have the highest rates of hit-and-runs in the U.S. In contrast, New Hampshire, Maine, and Minnesota have the lowest rates.

9. 17% of all motor vehicle crash deaths are pedestrians.


In 2021, out of 42,939 total vehicle-caused deaths, 7,388 were pedestrians. The percentage of pedestrian deaths has remained stable since 2018. However, it is 6 points higher than its lowest point in 2000.

10. 20-44 year-olds showed the highest pedestrian death rates.


2.8% of this age bracket of the U.S. population died in 2022 due to pedestrian deaths. The 45-69 bracket follows closely with 2,977 deaths. The following statistics total the deaths by age group in 2021:

  • Less than 13 - 139 (0.3%)
  • 13-19 - 246 (0.8%)
  • 20-44 - 3,071 (2.9%)
  • 45-69 - 2,977 (2.8%)
  • More than 70 - 846 (2.3%)

There is a slight difference between the 20-44 and 45-69 age groups. But the former’s marginally higher rates show a relationship with risky pedestrian behavior, intoxication, and jaywalking, among others.

11. 70% of total pedestrian deaths in 2021 were males.

(IIHS, Wired)

5,171 male pedestrian deaths were recorded in 2021. In contrast, there were only 2154 female pedestrian deaths in the same year. Since 1975, the proportion of male deaths has only varied by 3 points. 

An explanation for this is that males are more likely to cross high-speed roads, making them more susceptible to being hit by high-speed vehicles. Higher-speed crashes correlate with higher chances of death.

12. 3,506 pedestrian deaths occurred during the day.

(IIHS, Arizona State University)

Daytime and nighttime deaths showed little difference in 2021 data. 3,506 deaths happened in the daylight, while 3,535 occurred at night. Deaths during the day are presumably a result of overall vehicle traffic as motorists go home from work. On the other hand, pedestrian fatalities at night are likely a result of several factors, such as:

13. 50% of deaths occurred between 6 PM-12 MN.


1,849 people were killed from 6 PM-9 PM, and another 1,991 from 9 PM to midnight. This 6-hour window makes up 50% of all pedestrian deaths in 2021.

14. 38% of nighttime pedestrian deaths had a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08.


A person with a BAC of 0.8 shows reduced muscle coordination. It is also associated with poor danger detection and impaired judgment and reasoning.

1,348 nighttime pedestrians were intoxicated at their time of death in 2021. While this may seem high, numbers show a downward trend of pedestrian deaths while under the influence of alcohol since 1975.

15. Faster speeds equal as much as 85% more chance of death.

(Arizona State University)

Faster speeds mean a higher impact on the pedestrian victim. A pedestrian hit at 40/mph is 85% more likely to die, while those hit at 30 miles per hour have a 45% chance of dying. 

16. 23% of daytime pedestrian deaths were under the influence of alcohol.

(IIHS, Arizona State University)

Daytime statistics show slight variations in daytime deaths involving alcohol. 27% of daytime deaths were intoxicated in 1975, just slightly above the 23% recorded in 2021. Intoxicated pedestrians are likely unaware of traffic conditions, poor lighting, and poor weather.

17. 84% of pedestrian deaths were in urban areas.


6,191 deaths in urban areas were recorded in 2021, compared to 1,140 in rural areas. The percentage of urban pedestrian deaths has risen significantly since 1975 by 25%.

This is more likely due to higher pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic. Other environmental factors include poor city planning, speed limitations, and pedestrians’ lack of safety awareness.

While more pedestrian deaths occur in urban settings, rural accidents are often more severe and fatal. This is due to higher vehicle speeds, lack of proper infrastructure, and longer distances from medical care facilities in rural areas.

Pedestrian Injury Statistics

Pedestrian collisions are a growing health threat globally. Every year, these collisions cost $500 billion. Many pedestrians injured in crashes face long-lasting consequences, such as paralysis, disability, and trauma.

Overall, numbers about pedestrian injuries show a pattern in age, socioeconomic status, and gender. Read the rest of this section to know more!

18. 16-year-olds and under are most likely to be hit by vehicles.

(West JEM)

Pedestrian collisions are the second most common cause of unintentional, injury-related deaths in the 5-14 age bracket.

The 10-15 age group shows the highest non-fatal injury rates in vehicle crashes in the U.S. 30% of all pedestrian injuries are by children 15 and under. Male children are also overrepresented in the statistics, making up 58% of all pedestrian injuries.

Studies attribute this to children being more impulsive and lacking fully developed sensory and cognitive skills. Other factors include poor parental supervision and risky driving behaviors.

19. Older people account for 23% of all hospitalizations due to unintentional traumatic injuries.

(West JEM)

20% of pedestrian deaths are by older people. Injuries are hazardous for older people, as they experience longer hospitalizations, more extreme complications, and higher death rates. These high numbers may be because older people are slower, have poorer hearing and vision, and have less flexibility, making them more at risk for collisions.

20. Poor areas have 4x more pedestrian collisions.

(Injury Prevention, Traffic Injury Prevention, West JEM)

These areas also have 9x more crashes involving children aged 0-12.  A study in Southern California also showed that 32.2% of low-income residents have 44 pedestrian crashes per 100,000 yearly.

Aside from poverty, social factors such as education, English skills, and population density influenced the frequency of crashes. Experts suggest that pedestrian injuries also impact people with low economic backgrounds much more significantly, as they have fewer social support systems and are less likely to access emergency services.

21. African American children are disproportionately represented in pedestrian injuries. 

(West JEM)

Regardless of location, African-American kids are at higher risk of pedestrian accidents. Children aged 4-7 account for 47% and 8-15-year-olds for 37% of all pedestrian traffic deaths in their age groups. Except for Native Americans, all minority groups have higher pedestrian accident rates than non-Hispanic white populations.

Experts attribute this to children needing to be aware of public safety issues. Lower-income families may also have less time to supervise their children and less money for daycare.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, pedestrian injuries, disruptions, and deaths are all too common on the world’s roads, with already disadvantaged people being more at risk.

Local governments would benefit from controlling speed limits in areas with high pedestrian risk. An intervention to aid people's traffic literacy would also help lessen pedestrian collision casualties.