Digging into the data contained in Seattle’s recently-released “2010 Traffic Report” confirms what Doug MacDonald has been arguing: elderly pedestrians are the most at risk from local drivers. The report also includes a number of important statistics for walkers that are worth entering into the record here.

In 2010, drivers in Seattle struck 529 pedestrians. Five were killed and 27 more were seriously injured. That was a big improvement from 2009 when cars killed 11 pedestrians in Seattle and left another 52 with disabling injuries.

Of the 529 pedestrian collisions in 2010, at least 140 occurred while the pedestrian was crossing with a signal or in a crosswalk. Yet because 299 of the collisions don’t include a description of the pedestrian’s action, we can’t say precisely what the walker was doing in the majority of cases.

In at least 256 cases, police recorded that the driver failed to grant right of way to the pedestrian struck in the collision. In seven cases, drivers were under the influence of alcohol and in one case under the influence of drugs. Ten collisions were chalked up to driver inattention and nine to the driver disregarding a traffic signal. Yet because 183 cases either do not note the driver’s action or no “contributing circumstances” are identified for the driver, we don’t have a complete picture.

Seniors are the most frequent victims, but collisions with pedestrians take a toll on the young as well. In 2010, one child under the age of five was seriously injured after being struck by a car, as were three kids between the ages of five and 14. In 2009, eight kids between the ages of five and 14 were left with “disabling injuries.”

Most pedestrian collisions happen in the afternoon and evening, perhaps because that’s when the greatest number of people are walking and driving.


Not surprisingly, pedestrian collisions are more likely to occur during Seattle’s darkest and wettest months.

Those are the statistics. They can help inform our approach to public safety, but they do not speak as loudly as the roster of people on foot who were killed by cars in Seattle. Below the jump, I’ve compiled the dates, ages, and locations of pedestrian fatalities from 2008 to 2010.


  • January 4: a 53-year-old woman is killed at 23rd & Lane in the Judkins Park neighborhood at 10 p.m.
  • February 6: a 94-year-old woman is killed at 15th & 145th near Jackson Park in the Northgate neigborhood at 11 a.m.
  • February 8: a 55-year-old woman is killed at Barton & 29th near Westwood Village in West Seattle at 7:15 p.m.
  • March 30: a 73-year-old man is killed at 1st & Railroad Way in SoDo just before 1 a.m.
  • April 25: a 19-year-old man is killed at University Way and 45th in the University District  just before 1:30 a.m.
  • August 10: A 39-year-old man is killed at 35th & Dawson near Camp Long in West Seattle’s Highpoint neighborhood at 9 p.m.
  • August 23: A 59-year-old woman is killed at Broadway & Madison on First Hill at 12:30 p.m.
  • August 28: A 60-year-old woman is killed at Aurora & 84th in Greenlake at 5:45 p.m.
  • September 22: A 92-year-old woman is killed at California & Dawson just south of “the Junction” in West Seattle a little before 1 p.m.


  • February 27: A 74-year-old woman is killed at 5th & Jackson in the International District at 11:30 a.m.
  • May 21: A 74-year-old man is killed at 23rd & Main in the Central District at 3 p.m.
  • May 23: A 61-year-old man is killed at Dexter Ave & Dexter Way in east Queen Anne at 11:30 a.m.
  • June 10: A 91-year-old man is killed at 5th & 97th in the Northgate neighborhood a few minutes after 4:30 p.m.
  • June 15: An 83-year-old man is killed at 17th & Republican on Capitol Hill at 2 p.m.
  • June 17: An 81-year-old man is killed at Jackson & 10th in the International District at 10:30 a.m.
  • July 24: A 58-year-old man is killed at 6th & Cherry downtown at 12:20 a.m.
  • October 2: a 79-year-old man is killed at 14th & Washington in the Central District at 7:30 p.m.
  • November 11: a 21-year-old woman is killed at 15th & 50th in the University District at midnight.
  • December 1: a 78-year-old woman is killed at Rainier & Andover in the Rainier Valley at 6:30 p.m.
  • December 6: a 30-year-old man is killed at Bell & Western in Belltown just before 2:30 a.m.


  • January 28: A 47-year-old man is killed at Aurora & Phinney Way in Fremont.
  • May 3: A 51-year-old woman is killed at 16th & Jefferson in the Central District.
  • May 3: A 91-year-old woman is killed at Harvard & Thomas on Capitol Hill.
  • November 17: An 80-year-old woman is killed at 7th & Cherry on First Hill.
  • December 27: A 48-year-old woman is killed at 2nd & Bell in Belltown.


Notes: SDOT’s annual traffic reports are not entirely consistent from year to year. The 2010 report, for example, does not include the time of day for fatal collisions. Also, the 2009 and 2010 reports use differently-named categories for classifying pedestrian injuries, such as “disabling” in 2009 and “serious” in 2010, though they may be congruent. Also, the 2009 report’s table 4 shows one fatality in the 5 to 14 age bracket, but this table appears to be incorrect; that fatality should be recorded in the 25 to 34 category.