Accidents are a significant concern for pedestrians. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported 2,831 car accidents involving pedestrians in 2020. 146 of those pedestrians died. From 2016 to 2020, 19,348 crashes with pedestrians occurred, and there were 823 fatalities. Crashes involving pedestrians made up 2.7% of all traffic crashes in Pennsylvania in 2020. However, crashes involving pedestrians comprised a staggering 12.9% of all crash deaths. Research by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has highlighted several factors associated with an increased risk of pedestrian accidents.

 Whether a driver caused a pedestrian accident is a legal question. A skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help you establish that the driver caused your accident through their negligence. 

Suffering an accident as a pedestrian is often frightening and stressful. Pedestrians injured in accidents may face hefty medical bills and suffer economic losses if their injuries prevent them from returning to work. Furthermore, families of pedestrians killed in car accidents suffer immensely. You may wish to speak with a well-informed attorney to learn more about your rights following a pedestrian accident. The attorneys at Simon Hyde Legal know how to help injured pedestrians and the loved ones of deceased pedestrians. Contact Simon Hyde Legal at (484) 886-4271 or reach out online to request a free consultation.

Is Alcohol Consumption Associated With Pedestrian Accidents? 

Driver alcohol consumption creates a risk for pedestrians. Intoxicated driving poses a risk to pedestrians because intoxicated drivers have less coordination and slower reaction times. This may cause them to hit pedestrians. Driving while under the influence is illegal in Pennsylvania. Intoxicated drivers involved in accidents that cause injury or death face six months in prison and a fine of $300 for the first offense. Critically, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has flagged drinking and driving as a major safety issue. In 2020, drunk drivers killed 24 pedestrians in Pennsylvania and 264 drivers and passengers. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also marked underaged drunk drivers as of particular concern. 

Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Typically Occur? 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, many pedestrian accidents happen at specific locations. A good portion of pedestrian fatalities—43.8%—occurred when a pedestrian crossed the street. Indeed, 68 pedestrians died when crossing a driveway, intersection, or mid-block crosswalk in Pennsylvania in 2020. Mid-block crosswalks permit pedestrians to cross the street when there is no intersection. 

Further, most accidents that injured and killed pedestrians happened in cities. Accidents killed 68 pedestrians and injured 1,703 pedestrians in Pennsylvania cities in 2020. 

Yet, most pedestrian accidents occurred on non-interstate state highways, and fewer accidents happened on local roads. In fact, there were 107 pedestrian deaths and 1,459 pedestrian injuries on non-interstate state highways in Pennsylvania in 2020. 

What Demographic Factors Are Associated With Pedestrian Fatalities? 

While older people were the victims of fewer pedestrian crashes, they were more likely to die when they did experience crashes. Per the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, older people made up a large portion of the people who died in pedestrian accidents. 20 pedestrians over the age of 75 died because of accidents in Pennsylvania in 2020. 

Are Pedestrian Accidents More Likely At Night Or Day?

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported most pedestrian deaths happen at night. 74.7% of Pennsylvania pedestrian deaths in 2020 occurred after dark. In contrast, most pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries—but no fatalities—happened during daylight hours.

Do Cyclists Face The Risk Of Accidents? 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation noted that cyclists suffered 799 injuries and 22 fatalities in 2020. Bicycle accidents comprised a mere 0.8% of crashes and 1.9% of crash-related deaths. Most fatal crashes happened on state roads, and most bicyclists were injured during the day. Yet some deaths happened at night. Furthermore, children riding bikes are particularly at risk of accidents. Unfortunately, more than one-fifth of all cyclists injured or killed in crashes were minors aged 5 to 14. 

How Can Drivers Cause Pedestrian Accidents? 

A driver may make a mistake while driving and strike a pedestrian. When a driver is distracted, they may fail to notice the pedestrian. Some actions that distract drivers include texting while driving, talking on the phone, eating, putting on makeup, using the GPS, and fiddling with the radio. Also, hostile driving in cities may cause pedestrian accidents. Drivers may ignore traffic rules, signs, and speed, resulting in pedestrian accidents. 

As a pedestrian, you may be able to prove the driver was negligent and caused your injuries. To establish that the driver was negligent, you must show: 

  • The driver owed a duty of care to you to drive safely. 
  • The driver breached this duty when they drove distractedly or violated traffic laws.
  • You suffered an injury as a result of their breach. 
  • The driver’s actions caused your injury. 

Can Pedestrians Cause Accidents? 

Pedestrians are also capable of causing accidents. Like drivers, pedestrians may act negligently and fail to follow traffic rules. For instance, pedestrians may negligently act when they jaywalk, cross while distracted, or fail to wait for a walk signal at a crosswalk. Pedestrians who run in front of vehicles may also cause accidents.

What May You Do After A Pedestrian Accident? 

After suffering an accident as a pedestrian, you should ask for the driver’s contact information, name, address, and insurance information. Pennsylvania law states that drivers in accidents causing property damage, injury, and death must stop, provide their information, and help injured individuals get medical care. It is advisable to go to the hospital and obtain a medical evaluation. Even if you do not feel injured at the time of the accident, the shock of the accident may distract you from your injuries. Indeed, some injuries, such as whiplash—severe neck pain—may manifest after the accident. 

You may also wish to report the accident to the police. Concerningly, many pedestrians involved in accidents do not report the accidents to the police. However, a police report is vital in helping you obtain compensation for the accident. The police report bolsters your claim against the other driver, particularly because it documents what happened and often includes favorable eyewitness statements. 

Consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney for assistance obtaining financial compensation for the accident. A personal injury attorney will help you file an insurance claim and sue the negligent party for damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages). They can also advise you on whether settling is in your best interest. If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused the accident and potentially obtain compensation for your loved one’s death. To inquire about legal assistance, consider reaching out to Simon Hyde Legal today.

Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

When you go for a walk, you likely do not expect to be an accident victim. Unfortunately, accidents pose a risk to pedestrians. Several factors increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. Moreover, negligence on the part of drivers may cause them to hit pedestrians. You might be entitled to financial compensation if a pedestrian accident injured you. Furthermore, if your loved one perished in a pedestrian accident, you may have the right to financial compensation for their passing. The attorneys at Simon Hyde Legal have a wealth of experience with representing injured persons in insurance claims and lawsuits. We may be able to advocate for you in a personal injury claim and help you obtain the most possible compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Call a Simon Hyde Legal pedestrian accident attorney at (484) 886-4271 or reach out online to request a free consultation about your legal rights and options relating to the pedestrian accident.