Pedestrian deaths make up 16 percent of all traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States. In 2009, they made up 12 percent of all fatalities, according to data from a Governors Highway Safety Association report. In 2018, there were 6,227 pedestrians killed in 2018, which is 51.5 percent higher than in 2009 when 4,109 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. Smartphones and SUVs are cited as reasons why this increase is occurring.
Distracted walking and driving is also a potential reason why this increase is taking place. Some people believe that more should be done to educate drivers about the dangers of driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Public service announcements would also aim to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding. Improved road crossings could also keep pedestrians safer when walking to work or other destinations.
There was a 4 percent increase in the number of people who said that they walked to work within a week of being polled between 2007 and 2016. This is because people are looking to either spend less on gas or get some exercise. However, this means that there are more people sharing the roads with SUVs and other vehicles. According to the GHSA, the states with the highest population growth rates from 2017 to 2018 saw pedestrian fatality rates jump 5 percent.
A negligent driver may face a wrongful death case in the aftermath of a fatal accident. This may occur even if the driver is not charged criminally with a crash victim's death. If an individual is found liable for a person's death, the deceased person's estate may receive compensation from that person. This may help to pay medical bills and other damages such as lost future earnings.