Streets in California and across the country have become a more dangerous place for pedestrians over the last decade. This is backed up by numbers that have shown fatalities on a steady increase in that time. Safety initiatives are underway, but individuals need to be aware of the potential hazards of walking from place to place.
Pedestrian deaths had been decreasing over a 20-year period beginning in 1988. They had fallen to approximately 4,500 nationally by the end of 2009. However, at the end of 2019, the number of pedestrian deaths exceeded 6,500. Much of the increase in deaths has been concentrated in five states although the same factors causing the rise are present across the country.
One of the primary reasons for the rise in deaths is the fact that vehicles across the country are now bigger. Fewer buyers are purchasing sedans and instead opt for light trucks and SUVs. Larger vehicles increase the chances that an accident will be fatal for a pedestrian.
In addition, cellphones have been uniform equipment for nearly all Americans. Unfortunately, drivers use them behind the wheel of their cars, becoming distracted and not seeing pedestrians. Finally, warmer weather and a rise in the culture of walking mean that there are more pedestrians on the roads. Many localities have implemented “Vision Zero” programs to increase safety, but they have been of limited effectiveness.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, you might be entitled to substantial financial compensation. This can include pain and suffering, medical bills or wrongful death damages. A motor vehicle accident attorney may help you learn more about how to file a lawsuit against the person who is responsible for your injuries. Your attorney may be able to draft the legal complaint and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.