The majority of people think about adopting safer driving habits when trying to avoid an accident or injury. While it is true that automobiles are the predominant mode of transportation, bicyclists and pedestrians have the right to travel on roads and should feel safe when doing it.
This is why national statistics showing that pedestrian fatalities increased in 2015 are incredibly alarming and prove that every person using the road needs to do more to ensure safety for all. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,376 pedestrian deaths in 2015 compared to 4,884 deaths in 2014.
The numbers for California are equally grim. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that they are expecting an all-time high of 900 pedestrian fatalities when the 2016 data is finalized. This would make pedestrian deaths account for over 25% of all roadway deaths in the state, which is an 8% increase over the past decade.
Common Sense Approaches to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents
While the recent uptick in pedestrian accidents is concerning, there are some minor adjustments that people can make to reduce unnecessary collisions. The first involves drivers reducing their speed on the road. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a study titled Impact Speed and a Pedestrian’s Risk of Severe Injury or Death, found that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle dramatically decreases when drivers are moving at slower speeds. Although this sounds like common sense, a lot of people are unaware that they are driving too fast and could help keep the roads safe by being mindful of their speed.
The second adjustment requires drivers and pedestrians to recognize their surroundings and move carefully in areas of high foot traffic. Drivers must make it their duty to look at crosswalk signs and acknowledge when pedestrians have the right of way. There have been numerous complaints by Pasadena natives about drivers ignoring these signs when turning left on the corner of Cordova Street and Arroyo Parkway. A lot of close calls are occurring, and it is up to drivers to put down their phones and remain vigilant in places where walking is encouraged.
Pedestrians also have a responsibility to stay safe when interacting with automobiles. Avoiding jaywalking is an action that pedestrians can take to drastically reduce the risk for severe injury or death. The NHTSA reports that 79% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections and is a direct result of people illegally crossing the street.
Helping Pedestrians Get the Justice They Deserve
With pedestrian accidents on the rise, there will be more people experiencing catastrophic injuries who need legal assistance. For pedestrian fatalities, families will need an attorney who can help them with the filing of a wrongful death suit. If you are a pedestrian who suffered a severe injury due to a negligent party, and are located in Pasadena, California or the surrounding area, you must contact Strassburg, Gilmore, & Wei, Attorneys at Law and retain the services of a personal injury attorney who can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.