The urban policy nonprofit Smart Growth America recently conducted a study in which the most dangerous California cities for pedestrians were identified. At the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, where Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys frequently monitor these topics, we were unhappy but not necessarily surprised to see that some of the communities we serve — namely San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Long Beach — were on the list. Although none were among the top 10 cities with the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in California, these findings nevertheless highlight the importance of paying close attention to one’s surroundings when navigating our area on foot.
Additionally, according to Los Angeles city officials, accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths throughout the city increased in 2021 when compared to previous years.
There are various reasons this may be the case. In general, fatal motor vehicle accidents since the pandemic have been on the rise across the nation. Although it remains unclear precisely why this is the case, experts have proposed several explanations.
Increased smartphone usage is certainly one factor contributing to these trends. Drivers are more likely to cause accidents when they are focusing on their phones instead of their surroundings.
That said, smartphone usage among drivers is not the only way smartphones and other such devices can play a role in pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians themselves must remember to put their phones away and pay attention to traffic when walking, particularly in a busy urban area.
There’s also reason to believe that motorists who were “out of practice” during the pandemic are essentially relearning safe driving habits. On top of that, those who did continue to drive frequently even during the height of the pandemic might have grown accustomed to driving on emptier roads. Now it’s possible they’re learning how to once again drive safely in heavy traffic.
The researchers who conducted Smart Growth America’s study also pointed out that individual motorists can only do so much to impact overall traffic and pedestrian accident rates. The study indicates that pedestrians who lose their lives in accidents tend to be older people living in low-income communities. These communities are less likely than others to offer sidewalks and marked crosswalks to those getting from Point A to Point B on foot.
It may be necessary for government agencies and city planners to address this problem at a higher level by exploring how making changes to the design of cities can boost pedestrian and motorist safety in the long run.
Regardless, pedestrians should always remember they are quite vulnerable. Even if a pedestrian survives being struck by a motor vehicle, they may sustain major injuries that could have a permanent impact on their quality of life.
Has this happened to you already? If you’ve been harmed in an accident resulting from another party’s negligence, a pedestrian accident attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills and other such losses. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 310-997-0904.