Pedestrians and bicyclists in California and throughout the U.S. are being injured and killed at alarming rates. Smart Growth America released a crash report in 2019 called Dangerous by Design, and it states that while people are not out walking as much anymore, the number of pedestrian deaths still went up 35.4% from 2008 to 2017. In that same time, the number of motor vehicle crash deaths went down 6.1%.
The report goes into state-specific data, and California residents should be aware that this state is the sixteenth most dangerous for pedestrians. Between 2008 and 2017, 14.2% of all vehicle-related fatalities were pedestrians, but in California, the percentage was 22.2%. Compared to the 35.4% nationwide increase in pedestrian deaths, California saw a 38.4% jump. A total of 7,127 pedestrians were killed.
It also turns out that pedestrians over 50 run more than double the risk of being struck and killed when compared to pedestrians under 50. Black people and Native Americans were also twice as likely to be in a fatal crash than other groups were.
The reasons for this trend are many. More people are driving SUVs, for example, which are known to cause more severe injuries to pedestrians. Increased phone distractions are another factor. Some cities, such as Bakersfield, have betrayed pedestrians by removing crosswalks.
Pedestrian accidents are sometimes the fault of the pedestrians, who may willfully ignore crosswalks and other infrastructures. In this state, accident victims can be eligible for compensation even if they are partially at fault, so injured pedestrians may want to speak with a lawyer about their chances of filing a successful claim.