U.S. pedestrian fatalities also increased dramatically for the 2nd year in a row
Pedestrian accident deaths in Pennsylvania increased by a startling 25 percent last year, according to nationwide and state-by-state pedestrian accident statistics compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
“We have an epidemic of people dying when they are walking, and we have drivers that are killing people that shouldn’t be killed,” said Pam Schadel Fischer, the association’s senior director of engagement. Schadel was quoted in a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We need the public to join in and say, ‘Enough is enough,’" Schadel added. "We need to change and tell people this kind of behavior is unacceptable."
Pennsylvania pedestrian deaths
Based on statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), pedestrian deaths nationwide increased by 17 percent during the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020. The 2021 pedestrian accident death toll was “the largest number in 40 years,” according to the GHSA.
As for Pennsylvania, the numbers were even worse. In Pennsylvania, pedestrian deaths increased by 40 to 186 deaths last year, which represents a 24.4 percent increase. That's according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which published a detailed article about the dramatic increase in pedestrian fatalities in the Keystone State.
Why pedestrian fatalities increased
The Governors Highway Safety Association study identified several key reasons why pedestrian fatalities increased dramatically in Pennsylvania and nationwide in 2021. One of the most common reasons cited by road safety officials was speeding drivers, who caused an additional 8.6 percent more pedestrian deaths in 2021 compared to 2020.
Other reasons why pedestrian fatalities were higher last year include poor lighting at night, when 76 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in 2021. And every year, drivers under the influence of alcohol cause preventable pedestrian accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk drivers are involved in 46 percent of pedestrian accidents.
Younger and older pedestrians are also more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. According to the CDC, an estimated 20 percent of pedestrian deaths involve adults over 65 years old, and 17 percent involve children under 15 years old.
How to prevent pedestrian accidents
According to officials interviewed by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, pedestrian safety can be increased by:
- Building more sidewalks.
- Improving lighting along roads and sidewalks.
- Police issuing more speeding tickets.
- Having more enforcement efforts of drunk driving laws.
If you were hit by a car due to driver negligence, it’s critical that you fully understand your legal rights and have a clear understanding of all your legal options.
Contact a Pittsburgh pedestrian accident attorney
You might think you don’t need a pedestrian accident attorney if you were hit and injured by a negligent driver, but don’t be so sure. In many cases, pedestrian accident claims quickly turn into complicated legal cases. Reckless drivers deny responsibility, witnesses may not agree about what happened, and insurance adjusters are quick to delay, dispute, and deny claims.
That’s why it’s important that you have a lawyer on your side who knows the law and understands how the legal system works when it comes to pedestrian accidents. We know what to do at the Romanow Law Group. Our Pittsburgh pedestrian accident lawyers have years of experience handling complex legal cases, and we understand what it takes to get real results in Pennsylvania.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Pittsburgh pedestrian accident attorney who will do more so you get more. Schedule an appointment with our Pittsburgh office today.