- July 15, 2019
SAN DIEGO — Pedestrian accidents are a concern all year, but they can become more prevalent during the summer. At The Barnes Firm, we hear questions about pedestrian accidents all year, and our best car accident lawyer in San Diego has put together some answers to frequently asked questions about pedestrian accidents in general and during the summer months.
How common are pedestrian accidents in the U.S. and California?
A recently released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) contained harrowing statistics about pedestrian accidents in California and across the nation. The report says that pedestrian accidents in the U.S. are on the rise, with a 35 percent increase occurring from 2008 to 2017. Based on preliminary data provided to GHSA by all 50 states, the agency estimated that 6,227 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2018. This represents the largest annual pedestrian fatality rate since 1990.
California had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities during the first six months of 2018. A total of 432 pedestrians died in traffic crashes during that time in the state. California was also one of five states that accounted for about half of all the pedestrian fatalities in the country.
Why do pedestrian accidents increase during the summer?
According to our best car accident lawyer in San Diego, pedestrian accidents are more common during the summer because there are simply more people outside. When the weather is warmer, more people walk to work, dine out, and go shopping. The nicer weather also brings more people outdoors for exercise, athletics, and entertainment. In addition to the higher numbers of people on foot, there are also noticeable spikes in the number of drivers on the road throughout the summer. When there’s more traffic, it can easily translate into more accidents.
In addition, more motorists tend to be on the road during the summer and for longer hours. Students are on summer break, and the daylight extends well into the evening. Heavier traffic for a prolonged time increases the chances of all types of accidents, including pedestrian accidents.
Who is at risk for pedestrian accidents?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that certain populations tend to be at higher risk when it comes to pedestrian accidents. These include:
- Older adults – According to the CDC, 20 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents in the U.S. in 2016 involved adults age 65 or older. This age group also accounted for 15 percent of pedestrian accidents in the country in 2015.
- Kids – Out of all of the fatal traffic accidents in 2016 that involved kids under the age of 15, one out of every five youth victims was a pedestrian, the CDC reports.
- Impaired persons – Alcohol was a factor in close to half of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2016. This involved alcohol impairment on the part of both motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians. Thirty-three percent of pedestrian victims that year had a blood alcohol content of at least the legal limit in most states (.08), and 13 percent of drivers involved in fatal pedestrian accidents had a blood alcohol content of at least the legal limit.
How can pedestrian accidents be prevented?
Our best car accident lawyer in San Diego says drivers and pedestrians can do several things to reduce pedestrian accidents and fatalities, including:
- Traveling at lower speeds – Higher speeds of travel mean drivers have less time to stop for pedestrians in the roadways. Pedestrian accidents are also more likely to be fatal at higher rates of speed.
- Staying visible – Many pedestrian accidents occur at night when it is harder for drivers to see people walking. Pedestrians can protect themselves by wearing reflective clothing and carrying flashlights when out walking.
- Using crosswalks and crossing signals – As often as possible, pedestrians should cross at intersections and inside of crosswalks. They should also obey crossing signals and only enter the roadway on “Walk” signals.
Of course, even the safest walkers can find themselves on the wrong side of an auto accident. In these situations, it’s critical to get fast medical attention first. Then, call an experienced San Diego car accident lawyer at The Barnes Firm. Our team has helped thousands of Californians get the best possible result from an injury claim, and we’d be honored to offer our guidance with your case.
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The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000