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Pennsylvania’s Pedestrian Realities

In 2013 in Lycoming County, pedestrian deaths represented 40 percent of the county’s deaths in automotive accidents.

Records provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association show that a whopping forty percent of the deaths in motor vehicle accidents in Lycoming County in 2013 were pedestrians. Throughout the county, 10 people died in car crashes of all types and four of those people were pedestrians.

Statewide, 147 pedestrians lost their lives in collisions with automobiles. Philadelphia County led the state with 36 pedestrian deaths followed by Allegheny County with 12 pedestrian deaths. The counties with the next highest number of pedestrian fatalities were Montgomery and Luzerne Counties with nine and eight lives lost, respectively.

New reports show the truth

It is far too easy to scan online headlines to find stories of tragic accidents in which pedestrians are injured or even die at the hands of motorists. In some cases, vehicle drivers are drunk, distracted, fatigued or otherwise negligent.
One such accident took place last December. The Bradford Era reported that a 62-year old pedestrian was killed and another pedestrian, a 25-year old man, was hit and injured in the crash. The 21-year old driver was found to be driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. She is currently in jail and has an arraignment scheduled for July. Her charges include two felonies, one for homicide by vehicle while under the influence and the other for aggravated assault by vehicle while under the influence. It is not known what sort of penalty she could face if convicted.

In Lower Heidelberg Township, a 35-year old mother of two was killed after being run over by a vehicle in front of a bar. During an argument between two groups, the victim had somehow fallen to the ground. She was run over while on the ground. The driver who killed her is not believed to have had any involvement in the disagreement that caused her to be on the ground.

A video sample of an accident

In Texas, one group that provides training to officers and others about accident reconstruction filmed a video of a pedestrian accident to show in class. The Houston Chronicle article pointed out that the crash test dummy’s face hit the vehicle windshield after the knees buckled when hit by the vehicle. After that, the dummy went over the vehicle. The impact even found a shoe fly off of the crash test dummy.

This can give drivers and pedestrians a good idea of how serious the impact of a vehicle to a body can actually be.

How can pedestrians get help?

When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, legal help should be sought promptly. Accident victims or their family members deserve compensation for their losses and injuries.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]