A variety of factors can contribute to pedestrian accidents, such as traffic speed weather and light conditions.

This summer, many people across the country will be walking both as a way to get around and for exercise. Whether a pedestrian is a child out of school, a young mother walking to the store or a retired person out to get some fresh air, he or she may face the risk of being hit by a car while walking along Pennsylvania roadways this summer.

Many communities throughout the U.S. are recognizing the need for creating safe, inviting roadways for people to walk along. These efforts have made great strides in keeping the roads safe for everyone; however, there is still a long way to go to drastically reduce or eliminate the risk of being hurt or killed in a pedestrian accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of pedestrians are killed every year across the country. 69,000 were injured in 2011 alone. Smart Growth America says that pedestrian deaths are at a 5-year high now, accounting for almost 15 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012.

Common risks Pennsylvania pedestrians face

The severity of risks that people face walking along Pennsylvania roadways depends on their location and even their age, says the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. For example, out of the 149 pedestrian deaths in 2011, most occurred in rural townships where speed limits were higher on country roads. In cities, pedestrians were more likely to suffer moderate to severe injuries and were most often hit while walking near a driveway entrance or crossing the street.

This was true for a pregnant 18-year-old woman in Erie last November, reported WICU News. The woman was crossing the street when she was hit by a car, which drove off as she was knocked to the ground. Fortunately, neither she nor her baby were badly injured, and she managed to get the driver's license plate number. The driver was later pulled over.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and senior citizens are those in the highest risk groups. In Pennsylvania, older adults were more often killed, while youth ages 19 and under received nearly 35 percent of all pedestrian injuries.

The following traffic conditions that commonly result in pedestrian accidents include:

  • Crossing at an intersection, including marked crosswalks.
  • Walking in a parking lot or near parked cars along the roadway.
  • Heavy traffic or poor weather conditions.

The time of day can also be a risk factor, especially if the light is low, such as at dusk or night, or glaring, such as early morning or late afternoon.

Contacting an attorney

Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries and overwhelming medical bills for the victim. If you've been hurt by a driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.

Keywords: pedestrian, accident, injury