PennLive reported recently on a pedestrian accident which occurred right in front of Harrisburg police. The police received a telephone call early on Sunday morning and were told a pedestrian accident had occurred near South 23rd and Derry Streets. When they arrived at the scene of the reported crash, however, they were not able to find a victim.

As officers scanned the street and waited for an update from a dispatcher, they observed a driver running over a pedestrian right in front of them. The incident occurred shortly after 2:00 AM and involved a 21-year-old driver who hit a 26-year-old man. The women who struck the victim accelerated and ran the man over, although the motive for why she did so was unclear. The victim refused medical attention after the incident and the driver was arrested. The original victim who the police had been called to the scene to assist was never found.

While this case was unusual because the pedestrian crash happened directly in front of the police – and the driver may have run the man over on purpose – pedestrian crashes are not uncommon. In fact, there were 147 pedestrians killed in Pennsylvania in 2013 according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These pedestrian deaths accounted for 12.2 of the total 1,208 fatal accidents in the state of Pennsylvania.

Pedestrian Death Risks

As the summer season approaches, more people will likely be out walking. The summer months are an especially dangerous time for pedestrians, and both drivers and walkers need to be aware of the dangers of pedestrian collisions and take steps to try to avoid deadly or serious accidents.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides details on where and when pedestrian accidents happen, so drivers and walkers can be aware of the high risk locations on the road. According to NHSTA, the majority of fatal pedestrian accidents occur in urban locations – such as cities like Harrisburg – and while at night. Surprisingly, the majority of fatal pedestrian-car accidents don’t happen at intersections or bicycle lanes. This, however, does not mean drivers and pedestrians alike should not be at high alert while at stop signs and red lights.

Pedestrians and drivers should be especially be careful when they are on a road or crossing outside of an intersection. Parking lot accidents (known as “backover” accidents) are also a common form of pedestrian accident. In parking lots and garages, drivers should remain on lookout for pedestrians walking from behind parked vehicles and pedestrians should be aware of cars backing out of parking spaces.

In addition, drivers need to be especially careful in areas where children are likely to be walking. This is especially true at all times of day and in urban and rural areas alike – especially with the summer months ahead and more children playing outside.