Pennsylvania Pedestrian Fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 151 pedestrians died in Pennsylvania in 2015, down from 161 the prior year. During the years between 2006 and 2015 pedestrian lives lost rose as high as 166 and dropped as low as 134. As you can see, much more needs to be done to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable road users. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that beneficial safety measures include-
- Traffic barriers
- Refuge islands
- Increased lighting and illumination
- Intersection signal timing improvements
- Beacons that alert drivers to pedestrian crosswalk traffic
- Reduced speed limits
Other measures that may be beneficial include vehicle designs that decrease the injuries commonly sustained when a pedestrian is struck as well as crash avoidance technology that engages the vehicle’s braking system before impact, and backup cameras that help drivers avoid backing accidents. Though some newer vehicles have these technologies, their effectiveness has not been determined yet.
Aside from what state officials and vehicle manufacturers can do to increase safety, drivers must do their part too. This means always staying focused on the road ahead of you while being aware of what’s going on around the vehicle. It also means never driving after consuming alcohol or drugs or ignoring posted speed limits. We still have work to do.
As an example, between 2014 and 2015, total traffic fatalities increased, unrestrained vehicle occupant deaths increased, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased, and speed-related fatalities increased. Over the ten-year period between 2006 and 2015 drunk driving deaths rose as high as 504 and dropped only as low as 349, speed related deaths dropped as low as 509 and rose as high as 783. Vehicle occupants who were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the fatal accident fell as low as 371 and as high as 599. The accidents the took the lives of all these people were preventable.