A new preliminary study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows pedestrian deaths have dropped overall across the United States for the first time since 2019.

But, in Michigan, they’ve risen by 17 percent.

According to the study, only 18 states — including Michigan — saw an increase in pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, whereas 29 states recorded a drop, and three stayed the same.

Since 2010, pedestrian deaths have increased overall by 77 percent, which is due to a combination of factors including the increased prevalence of SUVs, lack of infrastructure, and a steep drop in traffic enforcement which has enabled dangerous driving behaviors.

Pedestrian deaths, as a whole, reached an all-time high in 2022.

pedestrian traffic fatalities in first half of 2023

California, Florida, and Texas had the most pedestrian fatalities — combining for 37 percent of all pedestrian deaths.

Some of the reasons a pedestrian may be struck by a car are due to a driver who is:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Distracted by talking or texting
  • Making turns at intersections without paying attention
  • Disobeying traffic signs

Pedestrians may believe drivers are paying attention and following traffic laws, but pedestrians should always be cautious and keep themselves safe by:

  • Only crossing at crosswalks
  • Follow the “walk” and “do not cross” signals
  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Not looking at their mobile device while crossing
  • Cross in well-lit areas

The below chart shows a pedestrian’s actions before a fatal crash in Michigan in 2020. Crossing at a non-intersection was the cause of 34.1 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

pedestrian action prior to fatal crash 2020

GHSA says that building a safer system is essential for improving pedestrian safety. This includes more protective infrastructure, lower vehicle speeds, and better visibility.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or if your loved one has been killed, due to the negligence of a driver, call Buckfire Law for your free case review.