Pedestrian fatality statistics

Pedestrians crossing in front of a driver in Winchester, Virginia.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,735 pedestrians lost their lives and another 66,000 sustained injury in vehicle-related accidents during 2013. While this is a two percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities from the previous year, it still means that on average one pedestrian is killed every two hours and another injured every eight minutes in the U.S. In 2013, pedestrians accounted for 14 percent of all fatalities involving motor vehicles.

In Virginia, 740 people lost their lives in car accidents and other vehicle-related accidents during 2013. Of those killed, 75 or 10.1 percent were pedestrians. This puts the state’s pedestrian fatality rate at 0.91, which is below the national average of 1.50.

These statistics are a clear reminder that walking along a city street or road can be a very dangerous activity. Pedestrians who want to avoid becoming a statistic must know where, when and why walkers are at risk. Once you have this knowledge, you are more likely to be able to protect yourself and those you love when walking along streets and highways in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg Winchester and other locations throughout Virginia.

Where Accidents Happen

An estimated 73 percent of all pedestrian accidents take place in urban areas, while only 27 percent occur in rural locations. Pedestrians are also more likely to become the victim of a motor vehicle accident at a non-intersection (69 percent), than at an intersection (20 percent). Other places where accidents involving pedestrians occur are in parking lanes, bicycle lanes, along the shoulders of roads, sidewalks, medians, driveways, shared use paths and non-traffic areas.

When Pedestrian Accidents Happen

An estimated 72 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen after dark. In total, 26 percent of all pedestrian accidents take place between the evening hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., followed by 23 percent occurring during the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Both of these time periods occur during periods in when visibility is reduced. Pedestrians are least likely to be involved in a fatal accident during the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, generally between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:59 p.m.

While slightly more pedestrians are killed between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on the weekends, both weekday and weekend percentages of pedestrian fatalities are highest during this period of time.

The majority of pedestrian deaths in the fall and winter months occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m., whereas during the spring and summer months, pedestrian accidents occur most often between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen

Pedestrian accidents occur for several reasons, however alcohol is considered to be one of the primary contributing factors in the majority of pedestrian fatalities. In 49 percent of the vehicle-related collisions which lead to a pedestrian fatality, either the driver or the pedestrian has been found to have some level of alcohol present in the blood. In total, 15 percent of the fatal pedestrian accidents during 2013 involved a driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher and 34 percent involved a pedestrian with BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Who Gets Hurt

The average age of pedestrians killed in vehicle-related accidents during 2013 was 46, as compared to the average age of injured pedestrians which was estimated to be 36. Children under the age of 15 are the age group most likely to sustain injury or be killed in a traffic collision as a pedestrian. Close to five percent of all pedestrian fatalities and 15 percent of pedestrian injuries involve children under the age of 15.

People ages 65 and older are also at risk in pedestrian accidents, accounting for close to 19 percent of all 2013 pedestrian fatalities.

How We Can Help

If you have been seriously injured, or you have a loved one who has been killed in a pedestrian accident, we advise you retain legal representation at once. A skilled Charlottesville car accident lawyer from our firm will be able to review all of the facts in the case to establish liability, and take action to help you to pursue fair compensation for all damages, both economic and non-economic. Contact the personal injury attorney at the Kendall Law Firm now to schedule your free case evaluation.


  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Traffic Safety Facts 2013 Data: Pedestrians

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