A happy event turned deadly this weekend when Adacia Chambers drove her vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians watching the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, killing four people and injuring 47 others. The fatalities included a two-year-old boy, a graduate student from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a retired Oklahoma State University professor and his wife. News sources report that the suspect in the Oklahoma State Parade crash is facing four charges of second-degree murder.
This senseless tragedy is just the most recent of many that have involved vehicles hitting pedestrians. According to a report on Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were 4,735 pedestrian fatalities in 2013.
Fatalities in the state of Pennsylvania increased by 21% in the first half of the year in 2014 as compared with the first half of the year in 2013, the second highest increase in the country, behind Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that an estimated 66,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in the United States in 2013.
The NHTSA estimates that one pedestrian is killed every two hours and one injured every eight minutes in a traffic crash. The NHTSA study says 73% of the pedestrian fatalities that occurred in 2013 occurred in urban areas, 69% occurred at non-intersections and 72% occurred in the dark.
Alcohol involvement for the driver and/or the pedestrian was reported in 49% of the pedestrian traffic fatalities. Larger metropolitan cities seem to be the most deadly for pedestrians. 60.8% of the total traffic fatalities in New York City were pedestrian fatalities. Other major cities with a high percentage of pedestrian traffic fatalities included Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, DC. Baltimore and Boston.
GHSA recommendations on reducing pedestrian fatalities
- Enforcement of laws involving motor vehicle/pedestrian interactions, such as yielding to pedestrians and preventing jaywalking.
- Better engineering of measures, such as signal phases, sidewalks, crosswalks and medians.
- Speed reduction in pedestrian areas.
- Vehicle design safety measures, such as rear cameras and forward collision warning systems.
Important safety reminders for drivers include always staying alert and free from distractions and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Be aware around school zones, neighborhoods and other busy pedestrian areas. Slow down and pay attention to all road signs, especially crosswalks. Your focus on safety could prevent another senseless tragedy like the one at the Oklahoma State parade.
For pedestrians, we encourage you to stay alert as well. Walk on sidewalks when available. Cross only at crosswalk, intersections, or in well-lit areas when no crosswalk or intersection is available. Wear bright clothing to be more visible when walking and wear reflective clothing at night. Be very careful when walking near vehicles.
The pedestrian accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli encourage drivers and pedestrians to keep safety a top priority. Drive and walk free from distractions and follow all rules of the road at all times. If you have been injured in a traffic accident, call the personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli for a free consultation today. Contact a Philadelphia traffic accident lawyer at 215-575-9237 or a Wilkes-Barre accident lawyer at 570-714-HURT.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.