More pedestrians in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. are dying each year. The upward trend began in 2009, and according to a preliminary analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Administration, 2019 was no different. The GHSA, working from traffic death data for the first half of 2019, estimates that there were 6,590 pedestrian deaths: a possible 30-year high.

The number represents a 5% increase from 2018 and a 60% jump from 2009. The last year that it has been this high was 1988. As for the fatality rate, it was calculated to be 2.0 deaths per 100,000 people, the highest since 1997. Yet compared to this, all other traffic deaths rose 2% from 2009 to 2018, largely thanks to improvements in vehicle safety.

The GHSA says that several factors may be to blame for this rise in pedestrian deaths. One is the growth in the number of drivers who are distracted by their phones. Another is the warmer weather bringing out more people. Third, there are more SUVs and light trucks on the road. Light trucks made up 48% of new vehicle sales in 2009 but 69% in 2019, and pedestrians run double the risk of dying in an accident with a large SUV than in a crash with an ordinary vehicle.

Those who have survived pedestrian accidents but are left dealing with serious injuries and even disabilities may be able to receive compensation. This compensation might cover past and future medical treatment costs, income lost during the physical recovery and both physical and emotional suffering. A lot depends, of course, on the degree of fault of both parties. Victims may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and help in gathering evidence against the defendant. The lawyer may handle negotiations as well.