California’s pedestrian death challenges

California once again led the nation in the number of pedestrians killed in 2016 despite some improvements across many counties.

One of the biggest pluses about living in California is the ability to enjoy being outside in lovely weather virtually year round. That fact naturally puts a great number of pedestrians in and amongst drivers on a regular basis making pedestrian safety a huge issue in the state.

How does California compare to the rest of the country?

Recently released data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that in 2016, the state of California experienced more pedestrian fatalities than any other state in the nation. This is a blow to the Golden State in its efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths and improve safety.

If looking at the data based upon the number of pedestrian deaths per the population, California fared slightly better but still too many people on foot lost their lives.

How serious are pedestrian deaths in the U.S.?

Overall, the number of pedestrians dying on the road is increasing more than the number of people dying in vehicle accidents overall. From 2010 to 2015, total vehicular fatalities increased by six percent. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 25 percent in that same timeframe.

What is the trend for pedestrian deaths in California?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 633 recorded pedestrian deaths in California in 2011. That number went up the following two years, reaching 734 in 2013. After a dip to 709 in 2014, it jumped again to 742 in 2015. However, the number of people on foot who died in 2015 in each county was greater than the number in 2011.

In the five years spanning from 2011 to 2015, San Diego County experienced 296 pedestrian deaths. Neighboring Orange County was the location of 231 such deaths. In Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, 199 and 251 pedestrians were killed, respectively. Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County saw the greatest number of pedestrians killed at 817 over the five years.

How can people be safe or get help?

Many experts believe that the use of cellphones is a major contributing factor in pedestrian deaths. A crackdown on distracted driving may help but equally important is pedestrian awareness. Wearing bright clothing, crossing streets at intersections and not wearing headphones can all help pedestrians be seen and be more aware of potential dangers around them.

When an accident does happen, a pedestrian is always going to be more vulnerable than a motorist. People deserve help and compensation in these situations and talking with an attorney is recommended to learn the best options for seeking justice.