The number of pedestrians dying in crashes involving vehicles is skyrocketing across California and the nation. Many believe a corresponding uptick in reckless and dangerous driving behaviors is at least somewhat to blame. Pedestrian fatalities have been rising nationwide in recent months and years even though fewer motorists have been taking to the nation’s roads during this time.
According to Axios, 6,700 pedestrians died in crashes in 2020 compared to 6,412 such deaths the year prior. This is a 5% increase in the number of pedestrians dying across the nation.
Research shows that California is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. California, alongside Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas, North Carolina and New Mexico, saw more than half of all pedestrian deaths that occurred nationwide in 2020. Many of the crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities shared similar characteristics in common.
The last several years have proved particularly stressful for many Americans. This stress appears to be manifesting in American driving behaviors. Stressed drivers are statistically more prone to taking risks or exhibiting aggression behind the wheel, both of which raise the chances of a wreck. Driver distraction is also a frequent factor in pedestrian fatalities. Impaired driving is as well. Speed, too, often contributes to fatal crashes involving pedestrians.
Pedestrian fatalities are not the only category of road deaths that are on the rise. Crash data from the first nine months of 2021 shows a 12% increase in all types of traffic fatalities when compared to the same span in 2021.