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Pedestrian Deaths Are on the Rise – How You Can Protect Yourself

Pedestrian fatalities experienced a steady decline from 1990 through 2009, according to a report by the GHSA. However, after 2009, the number of pedestrian deaths began to rise again. The number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2018 is expected to be the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in one year since 1990. Unfortunately, California ranks highest for the number of pedestrian accident deaths. The state has consistently ranked first for the number of pedestrian-vehicle deaths year after year.

Our California pedestrian accident attorneys give some potential reasons for an increase in pedestrian deaths and how you can protect yourself.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics for 2018

Before we discuss some of the ways you may avoid being injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, let’s look at some of the data from the GHSA report.

California had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities for the first half of 2018.

California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Florida are expected to account for about 46 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

The number of pedestrian deaths in the United States increased by 35 percent from 2008 through 2017. All other traffic deaths decreased by six percent during the same period.

Pedestrian deaths increased by four percent from 2017 to 2018.

The number of pedestrians killed by passenger vehicles from 2013 to 2017 increased by 30 percent, but the increase in deaths involving SUVs during the same period increased by 42 percent.

Nighttime pedestrian deaths increased by 45 percent, while daytime pedestrian fatalities increased by 11 percent.

The report is quite lengthy with many more disturbing statistics that reflect how deadly a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident can be for the pedestrian. You can read the GHSA report here.

Why Are Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise?

The GHSA offers several suggestions of trends that could be factors in causing the increase of pedestrian-vehicle accident fatalities. The trends cited by the GHSA that could be factors that contributed to the rise in pedestrian deaths include:

Unsafe motorist behaviors, such as speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and impaired driving are often factors in pedestrian accidents. However, it is also important to remember that pedestrians who are distracted, drowsy, or impaired may also contribute to the cause of a pedestrian crash.

More individuals are walking today than in previous decades, which results in a higher number of individuals sharing the road with motorists.

Road designs and lack of safe pedestrian crossings could be a factor. Most pedestrian deaths take place at night and on local roads away from intersections.

The increase in the number of SUVs on the roads can also be a factor in the increase in pedestrian fatalities. SUVs with higher front-end profiles are twice as likely to kill pedestrians. One study concluded that SUVs and trucks were involved in a third of accidents causing pedestrian injuries and 40 percent of accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths.

Many states have initiated various campaigns and initiatives to decrease the number of pedestrians killed on their roads, including California. However, there are things that pedestrians can do to protect themselves against pedestrian accidents.

How Can Pedestrians Protect Themselves from Motor Vehicle Accidents?

If you want to protect yourself as a pedestrian in California, you can begin by reviewing the information provided by the California PedSafe Program, The CHiP’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety page, California Walks, NHTSA, and AAA Exchange.

Common safety tips for pedestrians provided by the California OTS and other sources include:

  • Wear brightly colored clothes and carry a flashlight.
  • Walk in groups whenever possible.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Don’t walk while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  • Look several times before crossing the road.
  • Make eye contact with the driver to make sure the driver sees you.
  • Cross at crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Avoid walking at dawn and dusk.
  • Always hold children’s hands when crossing the road.
  • Avoid carrying large packages when crossing the road.

Contact a California Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Pedestrian Accident Claim

It is also a wise choice to talk with a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident. An attorney reviews your case and explains your legal options for recovering compensation from the driver who caused your pedestrian accident.

If you have questions about a claim, our California pedestrian attorneys can provide the answers you need to protect yourself and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation.