Many Americans get around by walking. Every week over 4 million people walk to work, and people throughout American walk for transportation and health. Walking is usually one of the safest ways to get around, but in some areas, walking can be deadly. When a car strikes a pedestrian, injury or death is a near certainty.
Most people are aware of the dangers of motor vehicles, but many don’t realize that pedestrian deaths from car collisions have been on the rise for years.
- In 2009, there were 4,109 pedestrian fatalities on American roads. These made up 12% of all traffic deaths.
- In 2016, there were 5,987 pedestrians killed in collisions. These made up 16% of total traffic fatalities.
- In 2017, the initial estimate is that pedestrian fatalities rates will remain roughly the same as 2016. An estimated 5,984 pedestrian fatalities happened in 2017.
California has one of the highest numbers of pedestrian deaths. Although California has made strides in enforcement and education strategies to reduce pedestrian deaths, the number is still far too high.
- In 2017, it’s estimated that California suffered 352 pedestrian fatalities.
- California’s number of fatal pedestrian accidents is unusually high. Five states including California and four others Florida, Texas, New York, and Arizona, are home to 30% of the U.S. population but make up 43% of the pedestrian fatalities.
- Certain California counties are particularly dangerous for pedestrians. It’s estimated that in 2016 Los Angeles County alone suffered 265 pedestrian fatalities.
What’s Causing the Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities?
The answer isn’t entirely clear, but researchers are looking at likely culprits including: location, miles traveled, distraction, and intoxication.
- A pedestrian’s safety depends largely on location. Some cities are more dangerous than others for pedestrians. Poor lighting, lax enforcement of traffic law, population density, and other factors can put pedestrians at risk. New York, L.A., Houston and other major cities are among those with the highest level of pedestrian fatalities.
- The number of miles people are driving has increased. Dipping fuel prices and an improved economy over the past several years have resulted in more people driving and putting more miles on their car. When the number of people on the road goes up, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Pedestrian and driver distraction is becoming a bigger problem every day. Wireless data usage has exploded over the past 10 years, leading to pedestrians and drivers who are watching their phones and not where they’re going. Although improved safety features have reduced car occupant deaths over the past decade, pedestrians don’t have the protection that a car affords. Distraction can lead to disaster.
- Intoxication puts drivers and pedestrians at risk. In 33% of pedestrian fatalities in 2016, either the pedestrian or the driver was intoxicated.
Contact a California Pedestrian Injury Attorney
Demas Law Group has represented pedestrian accident victims in the Sacramento area and throughout California. We understand what victims and their families go through after an accident. We’re proud to help them pursue the justice and the compensation they need.