As most people in Pennsylvania know, walking is an excellent way of getting healthy exercise. It can even be a social activity when groups of people meet to enjoy their daily walks. However, it seems that this activity also exposes people to potentially serious and even fatal risks when sharing the road with motorists. 

The Verge recently reported on data that shows the number of people on foot in the U.S. who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 was the most in 28 years. While overall vehicular fatalities across the country declined by more than two percent, pedestrian fatalities increased by more than three percent. This tragic trend also comes along with an increasing number of safety features are included in new vehicles. Clearly, these vehicle features are not enough to keep everyone safe. 

The trend across the nation can also be seen in looking at the state of Pennsylvania alone. Between 2014 and 2018, the state has experienced some increases and some decreases in pedestrian fatalities, but the difference between 2017 and 2018 was startlingly poor. In 2017, 147 pedestrians were killed, accounting for 13% of the state’s overall vehicular fatalities. Last year, 197 pedestrians died. These deaths represented 16.5% of all vehicular deaths. 

In 2014, Pennsylvania recorded 161 pedestrian fatalities. That dropped slightly to 151 in 2015, but then rose again in 2016 to 170. Over those three years, the deaths of pedestrians accounted for anywhere between 12.6% and 14.3% of all accident deaths. Clearly, the jump in 2018 is higher both in number and percent of all traffic deaths, highlighting the need for more to be done to keep pedestrians safe.