A new report out from the Governors Highway Safety Association should strike alarm in the hearts of those who make their way by foot around Los Angeles and elsewhere across the country: pedestrian deaths are on the rise. The GHSA says that the number of people who die while walking on our nation’s streets and highways is the highest now that it has been in 28 years. A total of 6,227 people pedestrians died in motor vehicle crashes in 2018, which is a 4 percent increase over the previous year and the highest mortality rate experienced since the year 1990.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, please contact the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg and our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney to discuss the details of your case. Our attorneys have won thousands of dollars for our injured clients, helping them get their lives back together post-accident.
The reports’ authors say that although strides have been made to reduce the number of fatalities on the nation’s roadways over the past decade, pedestrian accidents are up. And they’re up a lot—35 percent, in fact. The increase is even more profound for SUVs, which have been involved in 50 percent more pedestrian deaths since the year 2013, which contrasts with a 30 percent increase in the same period of time for non-SUV vehicles. The trend, says the GHSA, must be reversed.
Authorities point to “bad behavior” by drivers and others as contributing to the increased pedestrian death phenomenon. Distraction caused by smartphones over the past decade has been a big hurdle to safety among all road users. For their part, drivers are paying less attention while they text or talk on the phone, or even speed or fall asleep behind the wheel. In nearly half of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths in 2017, the driver or the pedestrian, or even both, had been drinking and was impaired by alcohol. Plus, they note, the population in general is growing, so there are naturally more people walking than ever before. For example, 4 percent more people walked to work in 2016 as compared to those who commuted by foot in 2007.
The time of day also impacts the rate of pedestrian deaths. Fatal crashes taking place after hours and during the night saw the biggest rise. The number of fatalities occurring after dark was up 45 percent from 2008 to 2017, compared to the just an 11 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities during the day.
California reported the most pedestrian deaths of any state, with 432. In fact, California was part of a group of five states (including Texas, Georgia, Florida and Arizona) where 46 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred.
If you have been injured in a California accident while traveling on foot, contact our Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney now to discuss your case details. Our compassionate legal team can help you weigh your legal options and determine your best course of action moving forward.