Dangerous by Design 2022 Report Shows Disproportionate Impact of Pedestrian Fatalities Among Older Adults

Dangerous By Design 2022, a report issued annually by Smart Growth America, provides the most up-to-date look at the preventable epidemic of people struck and killed while walking. The report ranks the most dangerous states and metro areas in the United States based on traffic fatalities from 2016 to 2020.

According to the report, older adults and people walking in low-income neighborhoods were struck and killed at much higher rates than other populations in 2020, as with past years. These findings reflects those from a Massachusetts-based report by WalkBoston that revealed adults over the age of 65 were disproportionate pedestrian crash victims, making up 36 percent of those killed while representing 17 percent of the population statewide

While the COVID-19 pandemic upended many aspects of daily life, including how people get around, one terrible, long-term trend was unchanged: states and metro areas are getting more dangerous for pedestrians almost across the board.

The number of people struck and killed while walking reached yet another new high in 2020, even with less driving overall. More than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking in 2020, an average of nearly 18 per day, and a 4.5 percent increase over 2019. 

On a positive and local note, the “Worcester, MA-CT” metro area was among the few such areas to trend safer based on available data from 2011-2020.

For more details, see the Dangerous by Design 2022 report here.