Pedestrians are at constant risk of being injured and losing their lives in an auto accident. This is a challenge in Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and across the United States. If the roads seem to be getting more dangerous, there is good reason for that. Many areas are reporting a substantial uptick in the number of pedestrians who are getting hit by an automobile.
They might be walking to school or work, jogging or going on an errand. It can happen during the day or night. Among the potential catalysts for pedestrian accidents are distracted drivers, speeding, drivers who are under the influence, reckless driving and drowsiness. Knowing the causes and the statistics can help with knowing what to look for, but those who have been hit should think about their future and know where they can go for advice.
Pennsylvania has seen a major rise in pedestrian fatalities
According to 2021 statistics, Pennsylvania had a spike of 21% in pedestrian deaths from 2019 to 2021. These numbers are from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and are not complete. Still, the number of pedestrian fatalities is worrisome when looking at the number of deaths not involving pedestrians.
In 2019, 154 pedestrians were killed. There were 146 pedestrian deaths in 2020 and 186 in 2021. As for injuries, there were 4,100 pedestrian injuries in 2019. In 2021, there were nearly 2,800. From 2010 to 2020, there was an increase of 54%. Nonpedestrian deaths rose by 13%.
Road deaths were higher in 2021 than they were since 2005. Along with driver behaviors, the vehicles themselves are said to be a factor. More people are driving larger SUVs. The impact with a pedestrian is worse when the vehicle is larger.
New York is also having pedestrian safety problems
Throughout New York State, pedestrians are also in jeopardy. Most might think this is linked solely to New York City, but it is not. In Schenectady, for example, road safety has led to the City Council trying to lower city speed limits. If passed, cars would be limited to 25 mph. Other ideas include speed bumps.
The numbers show that simply lowering a vehicle’s speed to 25 mph from 30 mph can substantially lower the severity of accidents when they happen. Often, they might prevent them completely. If a vehicle is traveling 25 mph, there is a quarter of a chance that pedestrians will be seriously or fatally injured. It is doubled when the vehicle is going 33 mph and tripled at 41 mph. Other areas have seen positive results from this type of reduction.
After pedestrian accidents, it is important to know what options are available
People who have been hurt or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident will have a litany of questions as to what will happen in the immediate and long-term future. That includes how medical bills will be paid, what compensation is available for lost time at work, pain and suffering and more.
Even those who do not think they want to pursue legal remedies will think differently when all they have lost is fully calculated. For example, an extended hospital stay, surgery and rehabilitative care can be exorbitantly expensive. Insurance is unlikely to cover it all. Since the person would not have been injured were it not for the automobile and its driver, it is reasonable to try and recover what was lost.
The entire incident must be assessed and investigated fully. Having assistance from professionals who are familiar with Pennsylvania and New York State law can be essential to taking the necessary steps to hold those who caused the accident responsible. It is a mistake not to have guidance with how to proceed and consulting with experienced professionals can be helpful.