The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were about 4,100 pedestrian fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in 2009. Over the last decade, the number of annual pedestrian fatalities has remained in the 4,000—5,000 range. In Pennsylvania, a study conducted over a five year period found pedestrian deaths remained within the 100-200 range.
The most accidents involving pedestrians in the state of Pennsylvania occurred:
While the pedestrian was crossing the street. Crossing the street claims the most pedestrian lives. For example, in 2006, 71 out of 170 pedestrian deaths occurred while the victim was crossing the street.
While the pedestrian was running/jogging. This led to the second highest pedestrian death rates in 2006, with 44 out of 170.
Something to keep in mind is that many pedestrian injuries and fatalities are caused on roads or intersections that are lacking traffic signals, stop signs, and other useful traffic calming implements. If you notice an absence of these devices, be particularly careful.
A Department of Transportation pedestrian safety initiative indicates that pedestrian crashes often involve the following three characteristics:
Pedestrian crashes often occur at night
Pedestrian accidents often occur at non-intersections
Pedestrian accidents often occur in urban areas
In addition, some of the most common factors in pedestrian crashes are distracted driving, drug/alcohol influence, and driving in excess of the speed limit. It is important for drivers and pedestrians alike to be aware of these and other dangers associated with motor vehicles in order to keep the streets safe for all.
For more information on motor vehicle safety efforts, please see “5 Simple Ways to Avoid Motor Vehicle Accidents,” which can be found on the Carpey Law website.