Fall a Dangerous Season for Pedestrians

In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accident fatalities decreased 27% (from 201 to 146), from 2018-2020. There are many theories as to why the increase occurred, from more people are walking to more motorists are driving bigger vehicles, and both motorists and pedestrians may be more distracted.

The fall is an especially dangerous time of the year for pedestrians when:

  • Cooler weather brings more people walking outdoors
  • Days become shorter and nights become longer, with more people walking in the dark when it’s harder for motorists to see them
  • Halloween festivities bring children closer to the streets and often in costumes that make it difficult for them to see and be seen

Nationally, Oct. 31 and Jan. 1 are the two most deadly days of the year, having the highest number of pedestrian fatalities. So it’s important to understand who’s most at risk and how you can prevent a pedestrian accident.

Who is at risk?

  • Children. Pedestrian safety for kids is important due to their increased vulnerability. Weight, height and impulsive decision-making puts them at risk for more serious injuries.
  • Older adults. People older than 65 account for 21% of all pedestrian fatalities even though they make up only 13% of our population. Oftentimes these accidents occur as a result of more time spent in the crossing lanes.
  • Alcohol-impaired pedestrians and motorists. More than one-third of pedestrian fatalities involve alcohol. Alcohol affects both the pedestrian’s and driver’s ability to make decisions and react in real time.

7 tips for pedestrian safety

  • Follow signs and signals when crossing roads.
  • Never assume the driver of a vehicle can see you.
  • Wear reflective gear when walking at night or use a flashlight to increase your visibility.
  • When possible, always use designated cross walks or intersections.
  • Don’t use technology when you are walking near an intersection or road.
  • Avoid using alcohol or drugs that will impair your judgement when walking in busy areas.
  • Educate your children on pedestrian safety.

Driving tips for pedestrian safety

  • Drive cautiously and slowly in hard-to-see weather or at nighttime.
  • Be aware of school zones and the time of day when children are most active.
  • Stop prematurely at cross walks and stop signs when pedestrians are crossing.
  • Give bikes and pedestrians 3 feet or more when passing them.
  • Be cautious when reversing your vehicle in high-traffic areas.

What if I am involved in a pedestrian accident?

The hours, days and weeks following an accident can have a significant impact on your ability to receive compensation. When you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is recommended that you take the following steps.

  • Seek medical attention. For people who are injured in an accident, it is essential that you receive medical attention even if you feel as if you are uninjured. By receiving medical attention, it not only ensures you’re healthy, it also establishes an official documentation of the injuries you suffered and the treatment that you may need to follow. The extent of these damages could determine the settlement you receive.
  • Take record. If you are severely injured during the crash, you may not be physically able to gather information on scene, but it is important to take notes and recall the accident as soon as possible. These details will be important when contacting a personal injury lawyer.
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer. While you’re healing, a personal injury lawyer can work on organizing your case and filing a legal claim to help you cover medical bills and wage loss.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact KBG to schedule a free consultation.