There were not as many motorists taking to Connecticut’s roadways in 2020, but this did not lead to declines in pedestrian deaths, as you might expect. Instead, the number of pedestrians dying on the state’s roads rose during this time, raising questions about what might be causing the uptick.
Per the Hartford Courant, the upward trend in pedestrian deaths is not unique to Connecticut. Instead, such trends have become apparent nationwide, with the number of these fatalities rising steadily year after year.
Connecticut pedestrian death statistics
In 2020, there were 65 pedestrian deaths that occurred across Connecticut. The year prior, there were only six such deaths. Interestingly, the total number of crashes involving pedestrians went down quite a bit between 2019 and 2020. There were 1,568 pedestrian-involved crashes occurring within state lines in 2019 and 842 such crashes in 2020.
Why are pedestrian deaths on the rise despite fewer drivers taking to the roadways and fewer pedestrian-involved crashes occurring on them? Some of the uptick may have to do with the fact that more Americans started exercising and walking through their neighborhoods in 2020 than they did in 2019. More drivers speeding or driving distracted, whether by using cellphones or otherwise engaging in something other than the task at hand, may also contribute to the rising number of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut. The fact that more drivers are opting for SUVs, rather than passenger vehicles, likely also plays a role.
Safety advocates believe that communities must do more to make their roads safe for pedestrians. Lowering speed limits and stiffening fines for distracted driving are among the steps that may make traveling on foot safer for everyone.