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Pedestrian deaths increasing

California residents may be interested to learn that the number of pedestrian fatalities have been increasing. In fact, data from a report released by the Governor's Highway Safety Administration showed that there was an 11 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in 2016 when compared to 2015.

While pedestrian and driver error do factor into many auto-pedestrian accidents, research has shown that a lack of safe walking environments have also had an impact on the number of pedestrian accidents. This appears to be a problem particularly in low-income and immigrant communities. Many streets are designed to allow vehicles to travel faster, meaning the streets are wider and without sidewalks or safe pedestrian crosswalks.

It was also noted that part of the problem is due to the nation's aging infrastructure. Many of the major urban boulevards were designed and built in the 1950s when the majority of residents had access to a car. Within the last few decades, however, more people have been walking or running. Updating the infrastructure can be very costly and the money to add safer sidewalks and crosswalks just may not be available.

While vehicles have been getting safer for drivers and occupants, pedestrians are still at serious risk for suffering injuries even when the accident is considered to be relatively minor. Because pedestrians have no way to protect themselves in a serious accident, they could suffer catastrophic injuries requiring lengthy periods of medical care and treatment. If it can be determined that the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver of the vehicle, then a personal injury attorney could help the victim seek appropriate compensation.

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