Maryland Pedestrian – Traffic Accident Death Rates Up in 2022

According to Zero Deaths Maryland, 134 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2022. This is up from 125 pedestrian – traffic crash deaths in Maryland in 2019. The increase in pedestrian accident fatalities in our state is in keeping with an alarming national trend.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report in 2020 ranked Maryland 15th highest in the nation for pedestrian accident deaths, with a Pedestrian Fatality Rate of 2.15 per 100,000 population. Worst in the U.S. was New Mexico, followed by South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. Maine had the lowest rates for fatal pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents, followed by Massachusetts and Idaho.

So why have Maryland pedestrian fatalities risen in recent years?

Pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable people in motor vehicle related accidents. In 2019, Zero Deaths Maryland reported that 92 percent of pedestrian-involved crashes in Maryland resulted in injury or death, and approximately one in four people killed in a traffic accident was a pedestrian traveling on foot.

The increase in Maryland pedestrian accident fatalities corresponds to the national trend. The AAA estimates 6,721 pedestrian-involved traffic accident deaths in 2020 across the U.S.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimated that nationally, in 2021, pedestrian-involved traffic accident fatalities rose to their highest level in 40 years. Traffic safety advocates theorize that less traffic on the roads during the COVID-19 pandemic brought on more unsafe driving practices, such as speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs — as motorists took advantage of more open roadways.

Most fatal pedestrian accidents occur at night outside of sidewalks or crosswalks. In addition, non-freeway arterial roads, which typically carry large volumes of high-speed traffic at high speeds, are most dangerous for pedestrians traveling on foot.

AAA advises pedestrians to be mindful, to never assume drivers can see you, and to cross streets in a crosswalk whenever possible, obeying traffic signals. They also advise drivers to watch out for pedestrians, using extra caution at night and during bad weather, when backing up, and when in dense foot traffic areas, such as school zones.


Zero Deaths Maryland – Crash Data
Collected online March 6, 2023

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
2020 Ranking of STATE Pedestrian Fatality Rates – State : Maryland
Collected online March 6, 2023

New Projection: U.S. Pedestrian Fatalities Reach Highest Level in 40 Years
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) May 19, 2022

Why Are Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise?
AAA Northeast Aug. 30, 2021

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