2009 Pedestrian Collision Statistics

SDOT recently released their 2009 Traffic Report, which shows that there were 479 pedestrian collisions in Seattle that year. This was the first full year of data since SDOT began implementing recommendations from the Pedestrian Master plan, and the number of pedestrian collisions per capita dropped to the lowest level since 2004. Pedestrian collisions have increased over the past 10 years, but not at a greater rate than the population.

There were 24 fatalities on Seattle’s roads in 2009, and 11 of the people killed were pedestrians. This ties with 2003 for the most pedestrians killed in a year during the decade. Most of the fatalities occurred on major arterials and most were at intersections.

Another interesting fact is that the Seattle Police Department issued 1,274 citations for “pedestrian infractions”, which I can only interpret as things like jaywalking. They issued only 409 citations to drivers for not yielding the right of way to pedestrians. There were, however almost 30,000 citations issued to drivers in 2009, more than 20,000 of which were for speeding.

The main contributing factor in 45% of collisions was the driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the pedestrian and in 58% of collisions the pedestrian was not at fault. However, that means that in 42% of collisions there is something the pedestrian did to contribute to the crash. The most common thing was that the pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. In several cases the person on foot disregarded the stop light or did not grant the right of way to the vehicle.

There was one instance of a pedestrian being hit apparently while sleeping.

Most collisions happened between 5-6 pm. The months with the most pedestrian collisions were November, December, and January, which accounted for over a third of the year’s collisions.

The statistics also show that people aged 5 through 24 account for a disproportionately high number of injuries.

The report shows pedestrian accidents throughout the city, with the majority occurring near downtown. Arterials like Rainier Ave, Madison, Lake City Way, and 15th Ave NE had several collisions each.

Tom Fucluoro has written two great write ups – one on Capitol Hill Seattle and the other on Seattle Bike Blog. Or, browse the report below to see more data:

2009 Traffic Report


1 Response to “2009 Pedestrian Collision Statistics”

  • Those three months account for 25.2% of the year, though I believe they also have a couple percentage points less foot traffic than average. So accounting for a third of the crashes is significant though not huge. I wonder if it’s because there’s less light in those months.

    The SPD ticket data is disturbing but not surprising. In fact, in 2007 or 08 they wrote more than 5 “jaywalking” tickets per failure to yield ticket (a fact they denied). So this is actually a little better. Still, we really need to get SPD to focus more on enforcement of lethal traffic violations and less on “jaywalking”. They seem to have an irrational fixation on “jaywalking”, and while officially they deny it, individual officers will admit that peds are easier to catch, more pleasant targets.

    I also want to note that “outside the crosswalk” is a bit nebulous. I’m forgetting the state definition, but marked crosswalks are only the city’s *recommended* crossing locations; you can cross outside the painted lines and still be in the legal crosswalk.

    I’d like to see a road diet on Rainier Ave.

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