ARIZONA, USA — Arizona is one of the worst states in the U.S. for pedestrian safety.
Year after year, Arizona continues to be top-ranked for the number of people killed while walking or trying to cross the street.
Since 1994, Arizona has made the top 10 list of state pedestrian death rates, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
And those numbers only date back to 1994.
During some of those years, Arizona ranked second or third worst in the nation. The most recent spot, recorded in 2018, placed Arizona fourth worst overall.
In 2019, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported more than 1,800 crashes involving someone not in a car. Two hundred and twenty of those people died.
So in an effort to save lives, the U.S. Department of Transportation is naming October the National Pedestrian Safety Month. They're raising awareness about some of the biggest dangers for pedestrians.
"Mostly on local roads, at night and away from intersections," said Chuck DeWeese, Assistant Commissioner, New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. "However, we find the number of pedestrian fatalities involving large SUV's are also increasing."
And a national walking safety group is making a call to action.
"To put people and safety first," said Ian Thomas of America Walks. "Unfortunately over many decades the transportation profession has really focused on moving vehicles as quickly as possible from A to B."
America Walks is also calling for slower speed limits in cities and investing in communities dealing with more deadly pedestrian crashes. Because in the end, we all have a role to play in making our roads and walkways safer.