Anyone in Pennsylvania may be a pedestrian at some point during a typical day. Even if commuting by car to work or driving to go shopping or do other errands requires parking and walking from a vehicle to a destination, even if only through a parking lot. At every turn, pedestrians must navigate uneven surfaces, vehicles of all sizes and often inadequate lighting. These things may well be part of a tragic trend seen by new data released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that shows a continual rise in pedestrian deaths across the country for the last 10 years.
So much effort has been put into improving safety on the roads and reducing vehicular deaths, and it appears some of those efforts are paying off. Overall traffic fatalities dropped in 2018 by 2.4% over the previous year according to a Wired magazine report. Accident deaths across a variety of factoring including the consumption of alcohol, motorcycles, speeding and more also dropped. But, accident deaths involving pedestrians increased by 3.4%.
One factor that some believe may contribute to the growing problem of pedestrian deaths is the growing size of vehicles. If a pedestrian is hit by a sedan, the impact is likely to be in the legs. If a pedestrian is hit by an SUV, however, the impact is very likely to be in the head. Larger vehicles also weigh more than smaller ones, increasing the overall impact to a pedestrian.
Distracted driving may also be a factor in these deaths, but distraction among the pedestrians themselves cannot be ruled out as a contributing issue here either.