Anyone involved in a vehicle crash is instantly vulnerable, of course, but one demographic is especially at risk of a catastrophic injury or even fatal outcome.
That group is the walking public. We duly stress on our website that, “Pedestrians have little chance of walking away from a motor vehicle accident unscathed.”
State regulators are acutely aware of this, especially in the wake of recently released accident statistics that are truly alarming. The relevant numbers come courtesy of the national safety group Governors Highway Safety Association. A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article spotlighting them notes that they “reveal a sobering trend.”
The trend is this: Pedestrian fatalities have spiked sharply across the country over the past year. In fact, the GHSA reports that 6,200-plus pedestrians died last year, a number not exceeded in nearly three decades.
Sadly, Pennsylvania fatalities contributed materially to that dismal outcome. Ninety people who were out walking or jogging in the state were reportedly struck and killed by motorized vehicles during the first six months of 2018. The fatality count from a similar measuring period in 2017 was 64. That spells a glaring 41% jump in deaths within a single year.
Safety regulators and advocates state that a few select catalysts are outsized contributors to walkers’ injuries and deaths. They include behind-the-wheel alcohol use, a growing number of SUVs out on the roads, and the ever-increasing nemesis of distracted driving.
State officials say that some simple “engineering fixes” might go far toward promoting pedestrian safety across Pennsylvania. Those include the building of raised intersections in some areas, more speed bumps in walker-dense locations and an expansion of biking and walking lanes.
As a pedestrian, it is important to remember to take all the necessary precautions to stay safe. Make yourself as visible as possible, always cross the street in a crosswalk or at corners, always walk on the sidewalk when available, and walk facing traffic if you are walking on the side of the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian-related accident or any other type of accident, we can help! Contact the Quinn Law Firm at 814-833-2222.