In 2014, approximately 700 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents in the state of California. Almost exactly the same number of pedestrians were killed in the state in 2013. Even as the overall number of people killed in motor vehicle collisions has declined, there has been a significant increase in pedestrian accident deaths nationwide.
Some states have a higher pedestrian death rate than others. The LA Times reports California was the state with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in 2013 and 2014. California clearly needs to do more to keep pedestrians safe, as do lawmakers who design roadways and set traffic safety policies.
California Has the Highest Number of Pedestrian Accident Deaths
Motor vehicle fatalities have declined nationwide, due in large part to better vehicle crash protection technology. Unfortunately, there are no technological advancements that can protect pedestrians from the impact of a motor vehicle. This has resulted in pedestrians making up a greater percentage of the victims in fatal motor vehicle accidents.
In 2000, approximately 11 percent of people killed nationwide in motor vehicle collisions were pedestrians. In 2013, 14 percent of people killed in motor vehicle crashes were pedestrians. In California, things are much worse, as the pedestrian death rate is much higher than the national average.
A study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association found pedestrian accident deaths accounted for 23 percent of all traffic accident fatalities in California in 2014. Most of those occurred at night, and 70 percent of the victims were male.
Speed is a big factor in why there are so many pedestrian deaths. A pedestrian who is hit by a vehicle going 40 MPH is three times as likely to be killed in the accident as a pedestrian hit by a car going 25 MPH per hour. Drivers need to be aware of the extreme dangers speed presents to pedestrians. Only 19 percent of pedestrians killed nationwide died in areas with a speed limit under 35 MPH, while more than 25 percent of pedestrian deaths occurred in areas with a speed limit of 35 to 40 MPH.
Drivers in California also need to be more watchful of pedestrians at night, as 70 percent of all pedestrian deaths happen between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Take the Right Steps
The best way to prevent becoming a pedestrian accident victim is to be alert. Although pedestrians have the right-of-way in Southern California, don’t assume cars and other motor vehicles will stop as you are crossing a street. In addition, if you are walking at night, wear lighter colored clothing and be especially vigilant. Anticipate driver errors before they happen.
If you are in a pedestrian traffic accident, immediately contact the police. Ask the officer to prepare an accident report. Get the officer’s name and the name of the police department handling the accident. Before leaving the scene, get the contact information for the driver and any witnesses to the accident, and take pictures of the scene from all angles.
When a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not going to have your best interests at heart. To protect yourself, you should retain a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.
How a Long Beach Lawyer Can Help After a Pedestrian Accident
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
It is up to drivers to be cautious and not endanger pedestrians. When a driver is negligent or careless about pedestrian safety, that driver can beheld accountable in the event of injuries or wrongful death.
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, a Long Beach personal injury lawyer can provide legal representation. The Law Office of Michael D. Waks represents injured pedestrians and family members of pedestrians who were killed by a negligent driver. I have helped many clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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