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California Leads in Reducing Pedestrian Deaths

A young woman with long wavy hair stands at a crosswalk, pressing the button on a traffic signal pole to activate the pedestrian crossing signal.

New data shows that California has seen a significant drop in pedestrian deaths. After reaching a four-decade peak in 2022, the number of people killed in pedestrian accidents decreased in 2023, as recently reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The study indicates a 5.4% reduction in yearly pedestrian fatalities nationwide, marking the first decline since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jonathan Adkins, the association's CEO, views this as a positive development but recognizes that more work still needs to be done to keep pedestrians safe on our roads.

"We're happy to see it going down, but we're not having a party," Adkins stated.

How much have pedestrian deaths reduced in 2023?

Total pedestrian deaths across the U.S. reached 7,318 in 2023, which still significantly exceeds the 2019 pre-pandemic figure. However, according to Adkins, new safety measures might be contributing to the improvement. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports a downward trend in overall traffic-related deaths for early 2024.

According to the GHSA, the pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 people in California during 2023 was 2.71. Adkins credits California's decrease in pedestrian fatalities to the state's close cooperation with local authorities. He suggests that the report's findings could indicate the beginning of a new era in pedestrian safety as other initiatives continue to be implemented nationwide.

What other safety measures can reduce pedestrian deaths in California?

Road safety advocates have pushed for various measures to help prevent pedestrian deaths. That includes reduced speed restrictions, increased sidewalk construction, and improved lighting in areas frequented by pedestrians. According to Adkins, combining multiple strategies can help maximize pedestrian safety.

"There's a lot of construction going on across the country that's making the roadways safer. We're engaging law enforcement in some new and creative ways." Adkins said. "We're looking at vehicle technology. So we're doing a lot of different things, and that's a different approach to safety in the United States."

What are the common causes of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents?

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that many pedestrian deaths in 2023 occurred at night in areas lacking sidewalks. SUVs and other large vehicles were most frequently involved in these accidents. Many serious and fatal pedestrian accidents in California are the result of:

  • Distracted driving.
  • Speeding and aggressive driving.
  • Drunk and drugged driving.
  • Failure to yield, especially when making left turns.
  • Failure to check for pedestrians when reversing.
  • Running red lights or stop signs.

If you were hit by a car, our law firm can protect your rights

Were you or a loved one injured in a pedestrian accident in California's Bay Area? Don't face this challenging situation without getting legal help. You could be facing medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma while you're out of work and unable to earn a living. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney at Clancy & Diaz, LLP can be your advocate and fight for your rights every step of the way.

Our pedestrian accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront costs and you pay nothing unless we win your case. If you were hurt because of someone else's negligence, we're ready to listen to your story, assess your case, and provide guidance during this difficult time. Take the first step toward recovery and justice. Contact us online or call us to schedule your free initial consultation. Our offices are located in Walnut Creek, Antioch, Pittsburg, and Benicia, CA.

"Pete went above and beyond to get me a settlement. Best in Bay Area!" - Former client.

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