Pedestrian versus car accidents are often catastrophic for the person on foot and the stats show it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,883 pedestrians died in traffic accidents nationwide during 2014. Pedestrians made up about 15 percent of all crash deaths in 2014. These numbers are astounding, especially considering that pedestrian accidents make up a small percentage of all traffic accidents in the U.S. These crashes are a big problem across the country, and Pennsylvania pedestrian accident statistics show that our state is no exception.
What do the statistics say about pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania?
According to statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT):
- The total number of accidents reported in 2014 decreased by more than two percent from 2013.
- The amount of fatalities fell by more than one percent and the total amount of injuries dropped by four percent.
While Pedestrian Accidents are Down, Pedestrian Deaths are Up
While the total amount of crashes has decreased, it has not had a favorable effect on pedestrian fatalities.
While there were 4,001 pedestrian accidents reported in the commonwealth in 2014 — down from 4,375 in 2013 — pedestrian deaths and injuries in Pennsylvania accidents both increased during this same period. In 2014, there were 166 pedestrian deaths and 3,985 pedestrian injuries in Pennsylvania alone.
Pedestrian-car crashes compose only about 3.2 percent of all crashes in the commonwealth, but they lead to 13.3 percent of all car accident fatalities.
This terrifying statistic highlights the special dangers car accidents pose to pedestrians, and illustrates the need for more care when driving in areas with high foot traffic.
What age groups are most often involved in a pedestrian-car accident?
The victims of pedestrian accidents tend to be either seniors or youth:
- Age 65-69: 11 deaths, 123 injuries
- Age 70-74: Nine deaths, 103 injuries
- Age 75 and over: 23 deaths, 148 injuries
- Age zero to four: One death, 145 injuries
- Age five to nine: Five deaths, 320 injuries
- Age 10-14: Three deaths, 351 injuries
Pedestrians over age 75 make up a sizable portion of the fatalities from these accidents. This is, in part, because they are more likely to die from injuries younger people could survive. In addition, it is often difficult for older citizens to make it across the street quickly or move quickly enough to avoid an oncoming car.
On the other hand, while pedestrian deaths for youth under 15 are pretty low, they compose about 20 percent of all pedestrian injuries.
Males in almost every age group were more likely to suffer injury or die in a pedestrian accident, although males from the following four groups had the highest fatalities of any group:
- Males age 20-24: 13 deaths (compared to one death for females)
- Males age 55-59: 12 deaths (compared to three deaths for females)
- Males age 60-64: 13 deaths (compared to six for females)
- Males 75 and older: 14 deaths (five more than for females)
Of the 166 deaths in Pennsylvania during 2014, 109 were men while only 57 were women. This means that 66 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the commonwealth were men, a stat that remains unchanged from the 2013 totals. There are several theories about this difference, but it may boil down to the fact that men are more likely to take risks such as stepping out into traffic or not looking before crossing the road.
In what area do most pedestrian versus car accidents occur?
According to PennDOT, pedestrian accidents most commonly occurred when a pedestrian was:
- “Crossing the street at an intersection, mid-block crossing, or driveway entrance,” or
The stats show:
- 1,762 pedestrians were involved in accidents resulting in 59 deaths while crossing at a “specified location” (e.g., crosswalk, driveway entrance, etc.)
- 1,309 pedestrians were involved in accidents resulting in 53 fatalities while walking, running, or playing
While many people think of pedestrian accidents happening when a careless driver fails to yield to people crossing the street, this is not actually all that common.
In fact, 72.9 percent of pedestrians killed and 44.2 percent of those injured were in areas not considered intersections.
More than 120 of the 166 pedestrian fatalities and 2,066 of the injuries occurred in areas where there were no traffic control devices, including red lights, stop signs or crosswalk signals.
PennDOT also analyzed when and where the accidents occurred and found that:
- 63.8 percent (2,684) occurred in the city
- 62.3 percent of injury accidents occurred during the day
- 71.1 percent of fatality accidents occurred after dark
Who and what causes these crashes?
In many cases, the driver of the vehicle fails to see the pedestrian before hitting them. Contributing factors include alcohol use, speeding, distracted driving, and failing to yield. When this happens, the driver is typically at-fault in the crash, and the pedestrian could potentially collect compensation to pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and more if they suffered serious injuries.
However, sometimes the pedestrian’s actions also contribute to the crash. This may include crossing mid-block, crossing against the signal, or walking while intoxicated. In almost 74 percent of accidents, pedestrians were under the influence.
As you can see, these statistics show that it is up to all of us — drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike — to ensure the safety of all Pennsylvania residents. For more information on staying safe when walking and driving around Pennsylvania, check out our blog.
If you or a loved one is ever injured in a pedestrian accident, give us a call. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have many years of experience getting accident victims the compensation they deserve.
Contact Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.