The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled most activities in our life, but there are a few things it hasn’t stymied. One of them is walking, a good way to exercise in the current slowdown of activities.

We’d like to remind our readers that pedestrians registered a bad year in 2019 when it came to walking. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrians died last year in record numbers, capping a decade that has seen fatalities increase dramatically after falling for 20 years. The grim news is based on the annual survey of the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The 6,590 pedestrian deaths in 2019 made it the deadliest year since 1982, according to preliminary figures. The report cited a number of possible contributors to the rising death toll, from higher fuel prices (before the pandemic hit) to more people walking for exercise.

While the survey made no direct connection to cellphone distractions, pedestrian deaths did begin to climb as the number of smartphone users grew from 50 million in 2009 to 285 million in 2018, according to AARP Bulletin, which published the interesting data. The report also warned against “drunk walking,” more than 2,000 pedestrians killed in 2018 had a blood alcohol level of over 0.08%. Most states consider that intoxicated, AARP Bulletin noted.

There are other reasons, of course, for the rising deaths among pedestrians. The point we’re trying to make here is that while walking is widely acclaimed to be a healthy exercise, there are risks involved. The annual survey by the Governors Highway Safety Association tells us so.

We encourage people to take their daily walks. But we remind them to follow the rules of safety, and to be smart when laying their footprints.