In the first half of 2020, 2,957 pedestrians were killed in motor-vehicle crashes, six more than in the same stretch of 2019, according to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway-safety offices that supplied the preliminary data.
That is despite the fact that Americans drove 16.5% fewer miles than in the first half of 2019. As a result, the report said, the nationwide pedestrian death rate jumped about 20% on a mileage-driven basis—to 2.2 deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled from 1.8 in the corresponding period of 2019.
“It’s quite disappointing and really shocking,” said Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Consulting, who provided analysis for the report. He said he had hoped a silver lining of widespread Covid-19 lockdowns would be fewer deaths. He noted that the data cover more than two months before the pandemic fully emerged in the U.S.