There were an estimated 3,373 pedestrians killed in the US in the first half of 2023, a four percent decline from the previous year, according to new data.

The Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report looks at state and national trends in pedestrian traffic deaths from January through June 2023 based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs).

However, despite the data analysis revealing that 153 fewer pedestrians were killed in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, there were 422 more fatalities than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic upended travel patterns.

The GHSA said the rise in pedestrian deaths was even more stark when looking back at the past decade – fatalities have risen a staggering 58% between the first half of 2013 and 2023.

To help address what it called a “pedestrian safety crisis,” the GHSA is supporting a holistic solution rooted in the Safe System approach that is outlined in the US Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS).

Each of the five elements of this approach – safe road users, safe vehicles, safe speeds, safe roads and post-crash care – combine to create a multi-layered safety net that can protect people inside and outside of vehicles, the organization said.

“After witnessing pedestrian deaths rise each year, it’s encouraging to finally see a small decrease,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins.

“But the fact remains that 18 people go for a walk every day and don’t return home due to preventable crashes. The only acceptable number of traffic deaths is zero. We must seize on this recent momentum and continue to push for a safer system that protects people on foot from the dangerous driving behaviors that are all too prevalent.”