There were 3,441 pedestrians killed in traffic collisions in the first six months of 2021 – a 17% increase from the same period the previous year, according to the latest projections from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

GHSA’s annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report offers the first look at state and national trends in 2021 pedestrian traffic deaths, based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.).

The analysis found that, nationwide, there were 1.04 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, up from 0.90 in both 2020 and 2019.

GHSA blames the rise on pedestrian deaths on a number of factors including a surge in dangerous driving, larger vehicles that are more likely to seriously injure or kill people on foot in the event of a crash and inadequate infrastructure.

“Walking is the most basic form of transportation, but there is a pedestrian safety crisis due to drivers speeding, being impaired or distracted, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.

“We need to leverage everything that works – infrastructure improvements, changes to road design, equitable enforcement of traffic safety laws and community outreach – to reverse this deadly trend and make our roadways safe for people walking, biking and rolling.”