A November 2015 report released by the Government Accountability Office states that there are more pedestrians on the road than ever before: nearly one million more people reported walking or biking to work in 2013 than in 2005.
Unfortunately, along with the increase in pedestrians comes with an increase in pedestrian related traffic accidents. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (“GHSA”) estimates a 10%increase in the number of pedestrians killed from 2014 to 2015. The numbers are particularly devastating in our area. Out of all 50 states, New Jersey had the seventh highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2015. Pennsylvania ranked eleventh.
It is important to exercise caution whether you are commuting or walking for pleasure. Just as you would avoid driving after consuming alcohol, you should also think twice about walking after drinking. The GHSA estimates that 34% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a pedestrian with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
Utilize the structures and safety elements that are available: the GHSA recommends staying on sidewalks; using pedestrian overpasses/underpasses; and crossing on high visibility crosswalks. Always cross at an intersection to avoid an accident with a car – the GHSA reports that 74% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersection locations.
The attorneys at Leonard Sciolla have experience representing people injured in traffic accidents. Contact Christopher Fleming and Marisa Ciarrocki in our Philadelphia office at (215) 567-1530, or Greg Sciolla in our New Jersey office at (856) 273-6679.
Published June 16, 2016