Are pedestrians safe in Philadelphia?

Whether walking through a parking lot, on a sidewalk or on a designated walking path, pedestrians face many risks due to negligent drivers.

The lovely days of summer often see an increase in the number of people on foot in Pennsylvania. While walking can be a great form of exercise, it can also be a risky thing to do. That is because of the dangers posed by negligent and irresponsible drivers. Whether impaired by drugs or alcohol, distracted by cell phones, fatigued or something else, drivers can harm innocent pedestrians in a multitude of situations.

Statistics show a dangerous trend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects and reports motor vehicle fatalities across the nation. When looking at the NHTSA's records for Pennsylvania between 2010 and 2014, a dangerous trend emerges. The number of pedestrian deaths has increased not only statewide but in Philadelphia County as well.

Detailed records show the following:

  • In 2010, there were 145 pedestrian deaths in Pennsylvania, 30 of which were in Philadelphia County.
  • In 2014, there were 161 statewide pedestrian fatalities, 38 of which occurred in Philadelphia County.
  • In Philadelphia County, 30 people on foot died in vehicular accidents in 2011.
  • County pedestrian deaths increased in number for the next three years.

The number of statewide pedestrian deaths peaked in 2012 at 163, dropped in 2013 and spiked up again in 2014.

News reports confirm the risk

It only takes but a few moments online to find reports of serious pedestrian accidents. One recent example took place in Richmond Township. As explained by WFMZ, a man walking through a gas station parking lot was struck by a truck as the driver left after refueling. The victim was drug for a while and died due to his injuries.

A 44-year-old pedestrian was killed by an impaired driver who had three previous driving while impaired offenses on his record. The Reporter indicates that the driver went onto a sidewalk and eventually hit a utility pole as well as the pedestrian. The defendant has since been charged with second degree murder in the case.

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette reports that a 26-year-old woman was hit by a vehicle early one Sunday morning while she was on foot. The victim succumbed to her injuries and died later that evening. The 21-year-old driver allegedly left the accident scene but later returned on foot and left again.

Important information for Pennsylvania residents

Even when walking where they are supposed to, people on foot can still become the victims of accidents. Pennsylvania residents who are hurt as pedestrians or who lose loved ones in these types of crashes deserve help. Talking to an attorney is one important step toward seeking compensation in these situations.