Pedestrians have always been at risk of being injured or killed in accidents involving motor vehicles. However, recent studies have shown that the risk to pedestrians has grown over the past decade. A higher percentage of pedestrians are being injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. Our California pedestrian accident attorney looks at one recent study that places California in the top 20 most dangerous states for pedestrians.
California Pedestrian Fatalities Increase Dramatically
A recent report shows that California ranks as the 16th most dangerous state for pedestrians. Between 2008 and 2017, 7,127 pedestrians died in California from motor vehicle-related accidents. During that period, pedestrian fatalities in the United States increased by 34.5 percent. However, California’s pedestrian fatality rate increased by 38.4 percent for the same period.
About 14 percent of traffic deaths nationwide were pedestrians over the same 10 year period. In California, 22 percent of traffic deaths were pedestrians. To put the statistics into even more perspective, traffic deaths of motor vehicle occupants decreased by 6.1 percent during the same period.
Can Pedestrians Avoid Accidents with Motor Vehicles?
Thousands of pedestrians are injured each year, in addition to individuals killed in pedestrian accidents. There are steps that individuals can take to avoid being injured in a pedestrian accident. Some safety tips for pedestrians offered by the California Office of Traffic Safety include:
- Avoid distractions when walking;
- Make yourself more visible by wearing brightly colored clothing and carrying a flashlight;
- Always look left-right-left before crossing a street;
- Avoid jaywalking;
- Making eye contact with drivers before crossing the road; and,
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections.
Drivers must also share the responsibility for avoiding pedestrian accidents. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and fatigued drivers are responsible for many of the pedestrian accidents in our state. Drivers who drive too fast for conditions and drive aggressively are also to blame for many of the pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians Are Vulnerable to Traumatic and Life-Threatening Injuries
Pedestrians have no protection against injury during a motor vehicle accident. Their body takes the full brunt of the impact from the collision. When a vehicle is traveling at a high speed or the vehicle is a truck or SUV, the chance of traumatic injuries and death increases. However, low-speed pedestrian accidents can result in permanent disabilities and traumatic injuries because of the lack of protection from the impact.
Common injuries in a pedestrian accident include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Scarring and disfigurement
A pedestrian accident can result in a disability that prevents a person from working or returning to normal daily activities. Just one second looking down at a cell phone can change a person’s life forever.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim With Help From a California Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians injured in motor-vehicle related accidents often sustain great physical, emotional, and financial damages. The driver of the vehicle might be liable for the person’s medical bills, loss of income, and other damages. Contact our California personal injury attorneys today to discuss your legal rights. Our California pedestrian accident attorneys can help you file an injury claim if you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident. You deserve to be compensated for all damages, including the pain and suffering caused by a negligent driver.