Vermont officials are nervous about a national uptick in the deaths of pedestrians and bikers, even as drivers’ deaths are down. Here in Vermont, pedestrians visits to the ER are highest per capita in Chittenden County, the state’s most “pedestrian-friendly” county in terms of bike path infrastructure.
“6,283 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. during 2018 while walking – the highest number since 1990. In Vermont, nine pedestrians were struck and killed while walking along roads in 2017, and 133 pedestrians and 179 bicyclists were hospitalized or went to an emergency department after a crash involving a vehicle.
While biking accidents are most prevalent in the northwestern part of the state in Chittenden, Addison and Franklin counties, pedestrian injuries don't have such a clear a pattern.
While Chittenden has the most pedestrian injuries and is the most populous county, far-smaller Washington is a close second and Bennington isn't far behind in third. Rutland County, with the second largest city, has the second lowest injury rate.
Demographically, the same profile emerges. There is no clear age or gender pattern to pedestrian injuries, but biking accidents are more prevalent among young riders and males. Riders under 15 are the largest cohort.