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Pennsylvania residents who find themselves in the position of being a pedestrian among traffic should be aware of the state’s growing problems related to pedestrian safety. Exercisers, like walkers and runners, are not the only people who can be pedestrians. Anyone crossing a street to get from one building to the next or a person going from their car through a parking lot to get into a store is a pedestrian and at risk for being hit by a motor vehicle. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania in 2018 jumped dramatically over the prior year. In 2017, the state recorded 147 pedestrian fatalities. These deaths represented 12.9% of the state’s overall traffic fatalities that year. In 2018, there were 197 people on foot who died in vehicular accidents, representing 16.5% of the total accidents deaths that year. 

The number of pedestrian deaths in Pennsylvania in 2018 was greater than in any year during the previous 10 years, representing a tragic change for the state. The experience in Pennsylvania appears to mirror that of the trend seen across the nation. 

According to CNBC, pedestrian deaths across the United States skyrocketed between 2008 and 2018, going up a staggering 41% in that time. Many experts believe that the preponderance of large, tall passenger vehicles on the road contributes to the growing risk to pedestrians. Drivers in sport utility vehicles can often not see pedestrians due to the height. Pedestrians hit by taller vehicles end up with impacts to their head or torso, where essential organs are, and this results in more severe outcomes.