Why are pedestrian deaths on the rise?
More people are taking it to the streets, whether for walking or jogging, which is good news for the health conscious. The bad news is that pedestrian deaths are on the rise across the nation. In 2015, for example the number of pedestrian fatalities was up by 10 percent over the previous year, and there were more death in California than any other state.
There are a number of factors contributing to the surge of pedestrian accidents. According to a report released earlier this year by the Governor’s Highway Association, partial blame can also be attributed to the increased of use of cellphones which is distracting drivers and pedestrians alike.
“Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing problem across the country,” said Richard Retting, co-author of the report.
While California leads the nation in pedestrian deaths, Florida was second, which speaks to the increased likelihood of fatalities in warmer weather climates. But this is also part of a recent nationwide trend in a rise of traffic fatalities over the past two years, which had been trending downward for about 10 years.
On the other hand, pedestrian fatalities have been rising since 2005, currently accounting for 15 percent of all traffic deaths. A closer look into these statistics is revealing: about three-quarters of these deaths occur after dark, and one-third of pedestrians killed reportedly had been drinking alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Meanwhile, nearly 15 percent of motorists involved in these accidents had a blood alcohol content at or exceeding the legal limit.
Another contributing factor, particularly in the Los Angeles are, are deadly intersections that see numerous traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities. In particular, city buses are often involved in these accidents, with about 1 pedestrian killed every 10 days by a city bus. Some observers attribute these deaths to blind spots in poorly designed buses that obstruct drivers’ views at intersections.
This report is alarming, and should be a warning to motorists, walkers and runners in Northern and Southern California to proceed with caution. Obviously, distracted and drunk driving, or walking, should be avoided at all costs. Moreover, pedestrians should only cross in walkways, and look both ways before crossing. But if you were injured in a pedestrian accident that was not your fault, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the J&Y law firm can help you obtain meaningful compensation.