National Center Quick-Look

Accidental Pedestrian Deaths

Collect:  The National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention collects information on accidental deaths of pedestrians in the National Fatality Review-Case Reporting System (NFR-CRS).

Data:  From 2004-2017, child fatality teams reviewed deaths of 2,878 pedestrians ages 1-17 who were struck by motor vehicles.1

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Gender:  62% male; 38% female

Race/Ethnicity:  41% Non-Hispanic White; 28% Hispanic; 24% Non-Hispanic Black; 7% Other

Age:  42% 1-4 years old; 19% 5-9 years old; 18% 10-14 years old; 22% 15-17 years old

Incident Details

72% occurred in urban/suburban areas; 27% occurred in rural areas

23% city street; 20% driveway; 14% residential street; 10 highway

Nearly half of pedestrians were struck in the evening hours between 5 pm and 10 pm, with the peak number of fatalities occurring around 6 pm (46%)

Over one-third of pedestrian deaths among 15-17 years old occurred at night, between 10 pm and 7am (38%)

One-third of children between the ages of 1-4 were not supervised when struck (33%)

Among 1-4 years old who were supervised, the person supervising was a parent (78%), grandparent (9%), or other relative (9%)

Vehicle Details

Backovers:  Backovers are when a vehicle, usually parked in a driveway, backs over an unseen person behind the car/truck

Almost two in ten pedestrian deaths were due to motor vehicle backovers (16%)

The majority of backover fatalities occurred in children 1-4 years old (86%)

Nearly three-fourths of backover fatalities were struck by “light trucks” (74%)

Light Trucks:  Light trucks are a category that includes sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, and vans

One-third of new vehicle production between 2004- 2017 were light trucks. However, half of all pedestrian deaths were due to being struck by light trucks (51%)

Almost all pedestrian deaths were killed in collisions that involved a single vehicle (96%)

Prevention Resources

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Governor’s Highway Safety Association:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Children’s Safety Network:

This quick look was made possible in part by Cooperative Agreement Numbers UG7MC28482 and UG7MC31831 from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) as part of an award totaling $1,099,997 annually with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

1Includes data on accidental deaths of pedestrians between the ages of 1-17 years of age who were struck and killed as a result of vehicular collisions from 2004 – 2017.  Pedestrians on personal conveyances like roller skates, skateboards, scooters, wagons, etc. have been excluded from this analysis (based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) definition of pedestrians).  These deaths have been reviewed and recorded into the CRS by participating fatality review teams.   Some percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

These data represent a smaller percent of the cases entered into the CRS. For more information about the data contained in this Quick-Look, please visit