In 2013, the most recent year for which there are national statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes on public highways and more than 66,000 were injured. This works out to approximately one pedestrian killed every two hours and one injured every eight minutes. Out of the those who lost their lives in 2013, 147 were killed in Pennsylvania.
Pedestrians are so vulnerable, if they are not killed when hit by a vehicle, they are often severely injured. Some are so seriously maimed, their lives will never be the same. NHTSA and individual states are working together to try and reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths.
Overview of Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pennsylvania has collected crash facts and statistics in an effort to identify the problems and take measures to rectify them. Here is an overview of statistical findings in Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2014.
- Pedestrian/vehicle crashes account for 3.3 percent of all reported crashes, but are responsible for 13.9 percent of all traffic crash deaths.
- The number of pedestrian/vehicle crashes substantially decreased in 2014 from what they were in 2010, but the number of fatalities increased.
- More injuries and deaths occurred when pedestrians were entering the roadway or crossing a street at a specified location such as an intersection, driveway entrance or mid-block crossing area than an unmarked area.
- Male pedestrians are more likely to be killed or severely injured than females with men making up 66 percent of all pedestrian deaths.
- Pedestrians are more likely to be injured during daylight hours, but more likely to be killed during evening and non-daylight hours.
- Most injuries and deaths occurred when pedestrians were crossing roads where there were no traffic control devices contributing to 122 deaths and 2,066 injuries.
- Senior citizens are involved in fewer accidents, but are more likely to be killed when they are involved in an accident.
Common Driver Errors Causing Pedestrian Accidents
- Drivers fail to check a crosswalk for pedestrians.
- Drivers run red lights or stop signs.
- Drivers are distracted in several ways: being distracted by hand held devices and are texting or talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, putting on make-up, combing their hair or any other activity that interferes with concentration on driving.
- Turning without signaling or looking for pedestrians.
- Driving too fast for the road conditions.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
Pedestrian Errors Contributing to Crashes, Injuries and Death
Pedestrians are not immune from fault when they are injured or killed in a vehicle crash. Some of the most common errors they make include:
- Crossing between intersections instead of crossing at a crosswalk.
- Ignoring traffic control devices when crossing.
- Walking on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic instead of on the left side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.
- Darting into the road between parked cars.
- Texting or talking on the phone while crossing the street.
- Crossing even when signs say, “No Pedestrian Crossing.”
Pennsylvania Plan to Improve Safety
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has developed a Strategic Highway Safety Plan with the goal of decreasing all roadway accident injuries and deaths including pedestrian ones. Specific areas with a high number of crashes resulting in pedestrian injuries and death will be identified. The reasons for the crashes at the particular sites will be identified and specific remedies put in place to reduce the risk of injury and death.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, or someone you love was killed, contact us for a free consultation. The law requires you to bring your claim for compensation within a certain period of time after you were injured. If you miss the deadline, you lose forever your right to to pursue your claim no matter how seriously you were injured. Do not risk losing your opportunity to obtain all the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Call us today.