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Pedestrian Deaths in Columbus, OH, Spike Amid Safety Concerns

Walking across a street in a crosswalk in Ohio

Smart Growth America released its most recent “Dangerous by Design” report, which shows the alarming trend of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents has continued to worsen in recent years. In 2022 a staggering 7,522 pedestrians lost their lives while walking. This marks a 40-year peak and a 75% increase in pedestrian deaths since 2010.

Understanding the latest pedestrian accident statistics

To put this into perspective, the number of lives lost in 2022 alone is comparable to the entire population of a small town such as Buena Vista, Colorado, or the student body of Gonzaga University. Additionally, it's equivalent to more than three Boeing 737 aircraft filled with passengers crashing every month for an entire year.

Over the past decade (2013-2022), a total of 61,459 pedestrians were struck and killed. This is a substantial increase from the 45,935 fatalities recorded in the previous decade (2003-2012). The severity of this crisis is further exasperated by the jump in fatalities from 2020 to 2021.

How does the rise in pedestrian deaths impact Columbus?

According to the “Dangerous by Design” report, Columbus ranks 67th in the nation for pedestrian deaths. The city’s average pedestrian fatality rate per 100k people from 2018 to 2022 is 1.59. During that time, the Columbus metro area saw 170 pedestrian deaths, up from 116 in the previous five-year period.

Other parts of Ohio fared better. For example, the average pedestrian fatality rate per 100k people in Toledo and Akron were 1.33 and 1.08, respectively.

Other data from the Ohio State Highway Patrol shows that the greater Columbus area (District 6) had 3,331 pedestrian accidents from 2017 to 2022. This accounts for 23% of the state’s total 14,466 pedestrian accidents.

Who is most impacted by the rise in pedestrian deaths?

The “Dangerous by Design” report shows that lower-income areas face disproportionately higher pedestrian fatality rates. Census tracts with median incomes below $50,000 account for 30% of pedestrian deaths despite representing only 17% of the population.

The fatality rate in areas with incomes between $15,000-$25,000 is over four times higher than in areas with incomes above $100,000.

People of color face higher risks. These groups account for nearly 22% of pedestrian deaths in metro areas despite making up less than 13% of the population. Black individuals are killed at more than twice the rate of white individuals, while Native people face over four times the risk.

Additionally, adults aged 50-64 and those over 75 are more vulnerable to fatal pedestrian accidents. Crashes that might only injure younger people are more likely to result in severe injuries or death for older individuals.

What can be done to mitigate the pedestrian accident risk in Ohio?

Since 2009, Smart Growth America has advocated for better street designs that accommodate pedestrian safety. The organization has come to the conclusion that pedestrian accidents tend to happen in the same areas and under similar conditions.

Communities can help mitigate the risk of pedestrian accidents by making the following changes:

  • Reducing vehicle speed.
  • Reducing vehicle-pedestrian conflict points.
  • Providing better pedestrian infrastructure, including striped crosswalks.
  • Improving visibility.
  • Reducing pedestrian crossing times.

Contact a Columbus, OH, pedestrian accident attorney today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Columbus or anywhere in Central Ohio, you deserve to be compensated for all of your losses. Gervelis Law Firm knows how to investigate pedestrian accidents and hold negligent drivers accountable.

We’re committed to fighting for the rights of injured pedestrians across Ohio. We offer free case consultations and are available 24/7 to discuss your situation. Don't delay - evidence is time-sensitive, and the sooner we can investigate, the stronger your case will be. Contact us online or call one of our Ohio law offices for a free initial consultation.

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