An average of slightly more than 20 people a day were struck by a vehicle and killed in the U.S. in 2021. This was the highest number of deaths in a single year in the last four decades, which is enough to give Florida pedestrians pause.
This shocking information comes from the findings of the Governors Highway Safety Association. Their analysis used the most recent statistics collected both on a statewide and nationwide level. From those statistics, the group projected the total number of pedestrian deaths for the year.
From the data that the organization collected, the GHSA estimates that 7,485 people died from being struck by a vehicle in total in 2021. This information shows that pedestrian fatalities rose by 11.5% when compared to the previous year. In 2020, more than 6,700 people died from being hit by a vehicle.
What made 2021 so dangerous for pedestrians?
The cause of this spike in fatal auto/pedestrian accidents comes down to a confluence of factors, but a major one was the speed that people were driving. It doesn’t take a physicist to tell you that the faster a vehicle is moving, the more serious of an impact it makes – and the damage done to the human body increases dramatically.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in some other way impaired, such as through lack of sleep, was another major culprit for lives lost due to pedestrian knockdowns. In 2021, various forms of reckless driving ran rampant, particularly distracted driving, as more and more tempting distractions have become readily available on your phone or built into the car itself.
Driving dangerously has real consequences – as the numbers from 2021 clearly indicate. That’s what the executives at the GHSA have taken away from this analysis, and it has sparked a public outcry for this crisis to be addressed more seriously at a federal level and by the public at large. This will involve getting to the heart of what’s causing these high pedestrian fatality rates, putting a stop to dangerous driving and roadways that are designed to get people where they want to go quickly rather than safely.