We are pedestrian accident lawyers and we take our mission as advocates for pedestrian (and bicyclist) safety to heart, and we think you’ll agree with us when we say the increase in pedestrian fatalities is something to speak up about.
Over the past 30 years, pedestrian fatalities have been increasing in the United States and California is one of the states with the most fatalities. New (preliminary) data is out and it shows that 2019 will be the year with the most pedestrian fatalities since 1988! The report comes from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and they predict that 6,590 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2019 from their preliminary data. This is a 53% increase of pedestrian fatalities just since 2009.
California is looking like it will reclaim its place as the state with the most pedestrian fatalities (Florida took the title away from California in 2015). Vision Zero in San Francisco has been raising more awareness for pedestrians and pedestrian safety in San Francisco, but 2019 did not meet its target even though 2017 and 2018 saw reduced numbers in pedestrian fatalities within the County.
We won’t stop until we see ZERO pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and neither should you!
This new data is alarming. But that doesn’t mean we should quit fighting. The report from the GHSA included correlational data about the increase in smartphones and the shift between owning fewer passenger cars and more light trucks or SUVs, but correlation isn’t a guarantee of causation. We’ve written in this blog before about the relationship speed plays in pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and concerns over the relationship rideshare services play in the rise of traffic fatalities. There are many factors involved.
Here’s what we do know:
- Distractions while driving are increasing
- Alcohol is a factor in nearly half of pedestrian accidents with a fatality
- Speed is the top factor in pedestrian accidents with a fatality
- Most incidents resulting in pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas and at night
- Injuries and fatalities happen at intersections but most fatalities occur away from intersections
What this means for drivers:
- Put distractions out of reach
- Never drive impaired by drugs, alcohol, or sleep deprivation
- SLOW DOWN
- Be extra vigilant when driving at night
- Watch for pedestrians around parked cars and not just at crosswalks
None of these requests are difficult to achieve and when driving, we all must do our part to protect pedestrians, after all, we are all pedestrians even if that’s just walking to and from our car.
If you would like to read more about the rise of pedestrian fatalities from the GHSA, the report is available here: https://www.ghsa.org/resources/Pedestrians20
As pedestrian accident lawyers, this topic is important to us. You are welcome to browse through our other articles on pedestrian accidents, injuries, safety and advocacy here: https://www.rahmanlawsf.com/archive/category/personal-injury-lawyer/pedestrian-accident-lawyer/
If you or a loved one wishes to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer, please contact us. Consultations are free. We have offices in San Francisco and Paso Robles, California.