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March 2019

This blog focuses on the law in Pennsylvania and West Virginia (and other practical issues that arise) when a family member or friend is unfortunately lost due to an accidental death.

Overview of Pennsylvania Law Governing Pedestrians Walking or Running On or Near a Roadway

As a runner, I spend a fair amount of time walking my dog or running for exercise around my town, which is located in Pennsylvania.  This necessarily involves walking or running on or near roads.  Sometimes the roads have a sidewalk and sometimes the roads do not.  Most people might be surprised that Pennsylvania has a law, 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3544, that governs where pedestrians can walk or run when on or along a roadway.  So, let’s go over the law:

What if a sidewalk is available along a roadway?  Section 3544(a) requires that if “a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.”  Therefore, if you can use a sidewalk, you have to use it.

What if there isn’t a sidewalk?  Section 3544(b) provides that if there isn’t a sidewalk, “any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.”  So, get as far from the roadway as possible.

What if there is neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder along the roadway?  Section 3544(c) states that “[w]here neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.”  Therefore, by requiring a pedestrian to walk (or run) on the left side of the roadway, the pedestrian will be facing oncoming traffic.  This is so the pedestrian can see oncoming cars or trucks, and, if there is danger, hopefully, be able to react to avoid serious injury or accidental death.

To sum it up, if there is a sidewalk use it.  If not, get as far to the edge of the shoulder as possible.  If there isn’t a shoulder, get as far to the edge of the roadway as possible.  Plus, remember to walk or run on the left side of the roadway facing the oncoming traffic.

Stay safe!


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The Deadliest Jobs in the United States

What are the deadliest jobs in the U.S.? 

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor answers the question.  Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017, which looks at fatal work injuries or work deaths recorded in the U.S. in 2017.

According to the data, overall, there were 5,147 worker deaths.

Types of Incidents

The main cause of worker deaths were: transportation incidents (2,077 deaths); falls, slips, and trips (887 deaths); violence and other injuries by persons or animals (807 deaths); contact with objects and equipment (695 deaths); exposure to harmful substances or environments (531 deaths); and fires and explosions (123 deaths).

Deadliest Jobs

The jobs with the highest fatal work injury rates or deaths in 2017 were (in descending order):

10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers (18.7 deaths per 100,000 workers)

9. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers (21 deaths per 100,000 workers)

8. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers (24 deaths per 100,000 workers)

7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers (26.8 deaths per 100,000 workers)

6. Structural iron and steel workers (33.4 deaths per 100,000 workers)

5. Refuse (garbage) and recyclable material collectors (35 deaths per 100,000 workers)

4. Roofers (45.2 deaths per 100,000 workers)

3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers (48.6 deaths per 100,000 workers)

2. Logging workers (84.3 deaths per 100,000 workers)

1. Fishers and related fishing workers (99.8 deaths per 100,000 workers)

National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2017

Stay safe!


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