NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – For the fifth year in a row, New Mexico is number one in pedestrian fatalities per capita. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that the state has the highest pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in the country.
The report indicates that for the first six months of 2020, data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia show that pedestrian deaths in 2020 are on pace with high levels from 2019. This comes despite significant reductions in motor travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the preliminary data for 2020, states differ widely in fatality numbers. While New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian deaths per resident population from January to June of 2020, (2.12), Vermont had the lowest (0.18).
From January to December of 2019, New Mexico also had the highest pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 at 4.0 while Vermont and Kansas had the lowest at 0.5. The data is based on the number of pedestrian fatalities reported by FARS and U.S. Census population data.
Additionally, seven states accounted for more than half (54%) of all pedestrian deaths. Those states are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.
The GHSA report also states that there are many factors outside the control of state and local traffic safety officials that contribute to annual changes in the number of pedestrian fatalities. These factors include economy, population growth, demographic changes, weather, fuel prices, vehicle miles traveled, the amount of time people spend walking, and the overall available resources to support highway safety programs.