Pedestrian fatalities have risen in recent years, both in number and in the percentage of all highway fatalities. From 2009 to 2018, pedestrian fatalities in crashes increased 53 percent, and the fraction of pedestrians killed in fatal crashes increased 42 percent. While 6,283 pedestrians were killed in 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) early estimates for 2019 highway fatalities indicate that pedestrian fatalities have decreased by 2 percent. This is good news, and we will be working tirelessly to continue this downward trend.

To address this public health issue, offices from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), NHTSA, and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) came together to successfully plan and launch the USDOT Summit on Pedestrian Safety Virtual Series.

The purpose of the virtual summit was to discuss issues around pedestrian safety and the initiatives and actions that can improve the safety of pedestrians. The webinars included remarks from Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, FHWA Administrator Nicole R. Nason, NHTSA Deputy Administrator James C. Owens, and leaders from transportation safety organizations.

The first webinar was held July 8, and focused on USDOT‘s current and planned actions to enhance pedestrian safety. It also included a discussion on the Safe System approach, which takes road users’ actions into account and incorporates features that minimize the chances of fatal crashes and serious injuries. The second webinar was held on July 15, and materials are available at The third and final webinar in the series took place on July 28, and focused on next steps. To view the materials presented during each webinar, please visit