The Apple iPhone was first introduced in 2007. Since then, cellphone use in California and the rest of the U.S. has skyrocketed. Over the same period, pedestrian deaths have also sharply increased. Traffic safety experts believe the two phenomena are linked.
California residents likely appreciate the efforts being made locally and around the country to minimize, if not completely eliminate, pedestrian deaths. In spite of these efforts, the number of pedestrians killed on American streets is steadily rising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, since 2009, there's been a 46 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. This leads many to wonder why there has been such a dramatic spike.
Thousands of pedestrians are killed or injured by motor vehicles each year in California and around the country, and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that children and senior citizens are especially vulnerable when they take to the roads on foot. However, remaining vigilant, observing speed limits and predicting the behavior of pedestrians can help motorists avoid accidents that can cause debilitating injuries and even death even when the speeds involved are not great.
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.
California residents may be dismayed to learn that an estimated 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016, which is an 11 percent increase over 2015, according to preliminary figures released by the Governors Highway Safety Association. If the projection holds, it will represent the highest number of pedestrian deaths recorded in about 20 years.
In an effort to combat vehicle accidents involving pedestrians in California, motorcycle officers with the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a pedestrian crosswalk safety and enforcement operation on March 9, 2017 in the Encino area. With one marked and one unmarked crosswalk, 45 drivers were ticketed within 90 minutes of the operation. The majority of the citations that were issued were warnings to educate the drivers.
California residents may be surprised to learn that, on average, 13 people die every day around the country just from walking around on local streets. In fact, approximately 4,880 people died in 2014 after being hit by cars. It is argued that poor infrastructure causes pedestrian deaths as streets are designed to allow vehicles to travel fast without offering protection for those walking on foot.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, California led the nation in pedestrian deaths in 2014. In that year, there were 4,884 pedestrians killed around the country in accidents involving motor vehicles, and 697 of these fatalities occurred in California. Florida and Texas had the second and third highest numbers of pedestrian deaths in 2014.
The California Highway Patrol is trying to determine what may have caused a Chevrolet sedan to cross into the path of oncoming traffic on the afternoon of July 22 in Folsom. Five people, including three children, were hurt when the Chevrolet struck a Kia sedan head-on. The accident took place on Empire Ranch Road at approximately 4:30 p.m.
For the most part, pedestrians are prohibited on California interstate highways. However, statistics show that approximately 10 percent of fatal accidents involving pedestrians take place in this type of setting. In some of these situations, a pedestrian may be at fault for being on the highway when the activity is prohibited. In other cases, a pedestrian may be present because of vehicle problems or car accidents, and driver error or neglect may be at the heart of a subsequent incident.