The Governors Highway Safety Association has released its annual report that analyzes preliminary 2018 pedestrian accident data and the news is not positive for Pennsylvania. In fact, it is sobering and of great concern. Specifically, the number of pedestrians killed in the Keystone State increased a whopping 41 percent in the first six months of 2018 as compared with the same time period in 2017.
The national numbers are also not good. For example, pedestrian deaths across the country are the highest in three decades, according to the study. Pedestrian deaths are uniquely rising as compared with other kinds of accident fatalities.
Why the rise?
According to the Tribune-Review, experts call out SUVs, distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol as contributing factors as well as the push to walk in cities and infrastructure built for vehicles, not pedestrians. In addition, the clear majority of increased pedestrian fatalities in recent years occurred at night.
The Tribune-Review reports that Pennsylvania has specifically targeted drivers who do not properly yield to people in crosswalks as well as a focus on “engineering fixes” to roadways that benefit pedestrian safety.
Still, when a Pennsylvania walker or runner is struck and hurt or killed by a vehicle, a negligent or reckless driver and its insurer, and other potentially responsible parties, bear legal responsibility for the harm and resulting losses.
Seek legal counsel quickly after a pedestrian accident
At our Lancaster law firm, we represent victims of pedestrian accidents in their quests for money damages to compensate them for their injuries, for financial losses, for pain and suffering and for other losses. OF course, injuries have the potential to be extremely serious when an exposed body comes into violent contact with a heavy vehicle, including potential fractures, brain injury, amputation, spinal injury and even death.
It is important to launch a thorough, timely investigation of the incident to understand all potentially responsible parties, including drivers, insurance companies, government units and others. Was a driver texting behind the wheel or otherwise distracted? Was the operator of a vehicle speeding, driving while impaired, fatigued, violating traffic laws or otherwise engaging in negligent or reckless driving practices? Was the roadway or sidewalk in disrepair or dangerously designed, contributing to the mishap?
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident or if a loved one is killed, do not delay speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your potential legal remedies and to begin an investigation as early as possible.