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NHTSA Releases Major Research Report On Crashes Involving Pedestrians in U.S.
NHTSA 12-03
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Contact: Ellen Martin
Telephone: (202) 366-9550

NHTSA Releases Major Research Report
On Crashes Involving Pedestrians in U.S.

Nearly one in five pedestrians killed on America's roadways is the victim of a hit-and-run crash, according to a major research report released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The report, NHTSA's most recent analysis of pedestrian fatalities, indicates that young children, as well as seniors, are especially likely to be the victims of fatal crashes involving pedestrians.

More than a fifth of all children ages 5 to 9 killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians. The age group with the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities are those 70 and over.

"Clearly, some of the most vulnerable members of our society – the young and elderly –are often the victims of serious pedestrian crashes. And the involvement of alcohol in many of these fatal crashes makes them especially senseless," said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.

Almost 175,000 pedestrians died on U.S. roadways between 1975 and 2001. Pedestrian fatalities now account for about 12 percent of all deaths related to motor vehicle crashes in the country.

Alcohol plays a significant role in deadly pedestrian crashes. Alcohol involvement among pedestrians in such crashes is 37 percent; for drivers, it is 18 percent.

The new NHTSA report analyzes the incidence of pedestrian fatalities in single vehicle crashes, which accounted for more than 90 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. The report focuses on pedestrian fatalities between 1998 and 2001.

Among the report's key findings about pedestrian deaths are these:

The NHTSA research report ranked states and the District of Columbia, in terms of their pedestrian fatality rates (per 100,000 population) for the year 2001. Those with the 10 highest fatality rates were:

The states with the 10 lowest pedestrian fatality rates were:

Using data on average fatalities from 1998 to 2000 and population data from 2000, the report ranks large cities (with populations over a half million) based on their annual pedestrian fatality rates per year per 100,000 population. Here are the large cities with the best rates, along with their average annual pedestrian fatalities for the period:

The large cities with the highest pedestrian fatality rates were:

Included in the research report are pedestrian fatality rate rankings for all U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, based on annual averages for the years 1998 to 2000. Of the 245 cities listed, New York had the highest incidence of pedestrian fatalities per year (179). However, New York ranked 72nd in terms of the annual rate of pedestrian fatalities ((2.24 per 100,000 population). Second for total pedestrian fatalities was Los Angeles, which ranked 49th, with 92 fatalities and a rate of 2.50 per 100,000 population.

The newly released 56-page research report, prepared by NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, is available on the agency's website at: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/Rpts/2003/809-456.pdf.

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