Anyone in Pennsylvania who has shopped for a new car in the last several years knows the auto manufacturers are introducing a growing number of new features designed to increase safety and reduce accidents. From backup cameras to automatic braking and more, consumers have a variety of technology options at their fingertips today to keep themselves and their loved ones safe that many would never have dreamed of.
Some may say that these new technologies are making a difference as overall traffic deaths across the United States have dropped. According to The Verge, 2018 saw domestic traffic fatalities drop to their lowest level in four years, making a 2.4% drop over the prior year. However, the news is not all so good for anyone on foot. Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.
The 6,200-plus pedestrian deaths last year represented an increase of 3.4% over 2017 and were the most recorded number of foot traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 18 years. Another interesting point to note about these deaths is that 76% of them happened in the non-daylight hours. The limits of safety-focused technologies in new vehicles apparently have some limitations in the dark.
The national trend is also seen in Pennsylvania. A report earlier this year by NBC Philadelphia the state experienced the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 since such records were kept. In 2017, there were 150 people on foot killed in traffic accidents across the state. In 2018, that number jumped to 201, six more than the year with the second highest pedestrian fatality count in 2001.