Thompson Law Group, P.C.

Statistics for pedestrians' wrongful death in a crash remain high

When Pennsylvanians head out on the road, there will be inevitable dangers they will face. This is exponentially worse for pedestrians who are in constant jeopardy of being afflicted with debilitating injuries or a fatality because they were hit by a car. Since they are not accorded with the protection that a vehicle gives them, a pedestrian is at risk not just because of common factors such as speeding, recklessness or drivers under the influence. New dangers are cropping up every day in the form of distracted driving. Research is ongoing to examine how at risk pedestrians are and a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates how problematic this is.

For 2017, the number of pedestrians across the nation who died in a motor vehicle accident is at approximately 6,000 per year, which is a 25-year high. In a slight nod to the good fortune of Pennsylvanians, the number appears to have reduced slightly in the state. GHSA released preliminary statistics for pedestrian deaths in 2017. If the numbers remain the same, it will be just shy of 6,000. That number has been rising for the past three years and stagnated at its 2016 level when there were 5,987 pedestrian deaths.

A GHSA spokesperson says that there are several possible reasons for the rise in pedestrian fatalities: an increase in the number of drivers on the road, distracted driving, and possibly the growing number of states that have legalized marijuana use. For the marijuana issue, GHSA says that there was a rise in pedestrian fatalities of more than 16 percent in the seven states that have made it legal. Other states had a drop of close to 6 percent. Pennsylvania had a reduction from 79 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2016 to 63 in the same time span for 2017. Overall, there were 172 pedestrian fatalities in 2016.

A pedestrian who is hit by a motor vehicle can suffer significant injuries and be confronted with massive medical bills. It can also lead to long-term problems that make it difficult if not impossible to get back to a normal life, work and earn wages. A legal filing is often the only strategy to receive adequate compensation for a pedestrian who was injured in a car accident.

Source:, "U.S. pedestrian deaths remained high in 2017, highway safety group estimates," Matthew Santoni, Feb. 28, 2018

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