While Pennsylvania roads may be a safer place for drivers these days, they have actually become more dangerous for pedestrians. The number of fatalities has seen a steady increase since hitting a 20-year low in 2009. Even though localities and the federal government are trying to do what they can to reduce deaths, they are working against structural factors that are causing the increase.
The unfortunate pedestrian death statistics
The unfortunate fact is that more than 6,500 pedestrians were killed in 2019. This is up from the roughly 4,000 that died in 2009. The increase is more than negligible and is part of a steady pattern of increases. Certain states are responsible for a disproportionate number of pedestrian deaths. Nonetheless, the danger to pedestrians is on the rise in all states.
The reasons for the increasing pedestrian danger
There are “Vision Zero” programs underway in many states, but they are working against several trends. The first is that many more vehicles are now driving SUVs and light trucks. While this increases safety for their drivers, it also adds to the dangers for pedestrians who have less of a chance of surviving an accident with a larger vehicle. In addition, the ubiquitous use of cell phones means that more drivers may be illegally using them behind the wheel, which will almost certainly distract them. Finally, the combination of the rise of the walkability culture and overall warmer weather adds up to more walkers.
If you have suffered injuries or if a loved one has been killed in an accident as a pedestrian, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. This can include economic and non-economic damages, including pain and suffering and lost wages. If a loved one has died, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. You should contact a pedestrian accidents attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit against the responsible party or negotiating a settlement agreement.