Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith

Pedestrian deaths continue to be a problem in Pennsylvania

According to a recent preliminary analysis that was reported by a Pennsylvania media outlet, the number of pedestrian deaths in this state went up by about 30 to 40 percent in 2018. In 2018, Pennsylvania had 90 pedestrian fatalities related to car accidents, whereas the number in 2017 was 64.

A person speaking for Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation indicated that the Department prefers to look at data over the course of 3 to 5 years rather than a one-year spike in fatalities. As such, she indicated that the Department will continue to promote pedestrian safety through a program that has been described as extensive.

Sadly, the spike in deaths in Pennsylvania largely mirrors what has been going on across the country. In 2018, the overall number of deaths increased by 250, or 4 percent over 2017. However, in the past 10 years, the number of pedestrian deaths on America's roads has increased by 35 percent.

It is such a bad problem that in 2018, for the first time since 1990, it appears that there will be over 6,000 reported pedestrian deaths across the country. In short, the country seems to be moving backwards when it comes to protecting pedestrians, even in the face of lots of safety enhancements.

The problem is bad enough to lead at least one expert to call for a federal regulatory agent to intervene. Ultimately, this agency would have the power to require auto manufacturers to include safety features, like automatic braking, in vehicles. The spokesperson for the state's Department of Transportation did not think this step was necessary.

Hopefully, Pennsylvania and the rest of the country will soon see this disturbing increase in pedestrian deaths come to an end. In the interim, Pennsylvania pedestrians, or their families, should remember that compensation may be available after a pedestrian accident.

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