Pedestrian Deaths

Why Are Pedestrian Deaths Increasing in Pennsylvania?

Pedestrian accidents have followed a troubling trend across the United States in the last few years. More and more pedestrians are suffering serious or fatal injuries while walking for exercise, walking to work, or running errands. The streets should be a safe place for everyone—bikers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians included. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Learn more about what’s behind the increasing number of pedestrian fatalities in Pennsylvania. If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian crash, turn to the team at Kingbird Legal for help with a personal injury claim. Call us at 484-289-4880 to get started.

What the Research Says

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintains a large database of data regarding all types of traffic collisions. Their latest report covers 2022 collisions. In recent years, pedestrian crashes were highest in 2018. In 2018, there were over 4,100 crashes resulting in more than 200 deaths. Numbers dropped in 2019 and 2020, hinting at a possible turnaround. Unfortunately, numbers then increased in 2021 and 2022, leading to 3,200 crashes and 184 deaths in 2022.

It’s important to recognize the serious risks that pedestrians face when they step onto the road. In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accidents only account for 2.8% of all traffic collisions. However, they make up 15.6% of all fatalities. Pedestrians are far more likely to die in a crash than the occupant of a vehicle.

People of all ages can be affected by these accidents. The age group with the highest number of fatalities is adults aged 75 and older. Other at-risk groups include those aged 25-34, 60-64, and 70-74. Males are much more likely to be struck than females. Severe crashes are more likely to occur in cities than in boroughs and townships.

Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Accidents

There are lots of factors that have led to an uptick in pedestrian accidents and deaths, including:

  • Distracted driving and walking: Distracted drivers are a huge danger to themselves and everyone around them, including pedestrians. On the other hand, pedestrians can also put themselves in danger by walking with earbuds in or not watching while crossing the road.
  • Reckless driving: Reckless driving includes behaviors like speeding, failing to yield the right of way, and failing to use turn signals—all of which can lead to preventable pedestrian accidents.
  • Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving goes one step further, involving drivers who actively choose to take unnecessary risks. It’s often the result of driving while in a rush, stressed, or upset.
  • Poor infrastructure design: Some cities simply do not have pedestrians in mind when designing street layouts and walkways. A lack of walk and don’t walk signals, limited crosswalks, and a lack of sidewalks can all put pedestrians in danger.
  • Lack of knowledge: Some drivers and pedestrians simply do not understand the other side’s perspective. Pedestrians may not realize how much time it takes a car to come to a complete stop, and drivers may not recognize that pedestrians have substantial rights to the road.
  • Physical limitations: As noted earlier, older pedestrians are much more likely to suffer severe injuries than younger pedestrians. Pedestrians who take longer to cross the road safely may be at risk of injury when they come across an impatient driver.

How We Can Protect Pedestrians

Everyone plays a role in nationwide efforts to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Pennsylvania pedestrians deserve to feel safe when they hit the road, no matter where they’re going. Some ways we can improve safety outcomes include:

  • Improving infrastructure: This is a long-term solution, but adding sidewalks, extending the duration of walk signals, and making crosswalks more visible are all ways that municipalities can support pedestrians.
  • Enhancing enforcement: It’s all too common for drivers to ignore situations where a pedestrian has the right of way. Increasing enforcement of these violations could dissuade drivers from making the same choices again.
  • Focusing on public education: Ensuring that pedestrians and drivers know their rights and responsibilities can do a lot to make the roads as safe as possible.

Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Contact Kingbird Legal Now

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s time to find out if you are entitled to compensation. Set up a time to talk to the team at Kingbird Legal now by calling us at 484-289-4880 or reaching out to us online.

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