44 pedestrians have been struck in Scott County this year

In the wake of a woman's death Tuesday, police are warning drivers and pedestrians to pay special attention this time of year.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 4:56 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The 39-year-old woman killed by a car Tuesday in Davenport is one of at least 44 Scott County pedestrians hit by cars this year.

Three pedestrians have died in Scott County in 2022, including the woman killed this week.

Another seven have been seriously injured, according to the latest data from the Iowa Department of Transportation. All others suffered minor wounds or other possible injuries.

Overall, pedestrian fatalities are up across the nation, accounting for 17% of all traffic deaths.

The non-profit Governors’ Highway Safety Association analyzes data to track trends in crashes involving pedestrians across the country.

The association found that most fatalities happen after dark.

“Good lighting is a proven countermeasure for increasing pedestrian visibility and helping to prevent crashes at night,” the GHSA said in an annual report.

About 75% of deaths happen in non-intersections, an indication that crosswalks are the safest way to cross a street.

Nationally, Iowa ranks as one of the safest states for pedestrians, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. Twenty-two pedestrians died on Iowa roads in 2020, accounting for about 0.85 deaths for every 100,00 residents.

Illinois ranks in the middle, with 1.4 deaths per 100,000. Three deaths occurred in Rock Island County that year.

Safety experts say walkers and bikers should obey traffic signals, use crosswalks, wear reflective gear at night and pay attention to traffic and road conditions.

Pedestrian incidents, by the numbers

The GHSA analyzed the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Its findings include:

  • In 2020, the percentage of pedestrian fatalities involving speeding rose to 8.6%, a notable increase from 7.2% the year before. Speed has a significant impact on pedestrian safety. The average risk of death for pedestrians increases exponentially the faster a vehicle is traveling, from 10% at 23 mph to 90% at 58 mph.
  • Most pedestrian fatalities continue to occur at night, although nighttime deaths have accounted for an even larger share over the past few years. In 2020, more than 76% of deaths with a known lighting condition were at night. Since 2014, nighttime pedestrian deaths have risen by 41%, from 3,510 in 2014 to 4,951 in 2020.
  • The percentage of pedestrian fatalities where no sidewalk was noted on the crash report rose to 67% in 2020 from an average of 62% over the four preceding years. The presence of sidewalks can help protect people walking by separating them from vehicle traffic, but additional infrastructure design considerations, such as raised crosswalks and traffic calming that slows vehicle speeds, can provide even more protection.