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California Pedestrian Deaths Mount

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January 24, 2018
Edward Smith

California Pedestrian Deaths Mount

Pedestrian Deaths in California

Every year, thousands of pedestrians nationwide suffer fatal injuries as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle. In California alone, the number of pedestrians who are killed has grown exponentially in recent years.

Watch Youtube Video ~ Texting and Walking Leads to a Spike in Pedestrian Deaths. There are several factors involved in the increase in pedestrian deaths. This video looks at these distracted pedestrians.

Pedestrian Fatalities and Injuries

According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 5,376 pedestrians died in collisions with motor vehicles in 2015. The number of injuries reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in emergency rooms and the like was around 70,000. Of course, these were reported injuries; the number may be much higher. The state of California reported 742 pedestrian fatalities in 2015, which represented 23.4 percent of all the traffic fatalities in the state that year.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Sacramento

The number of pedestrian injuries and deaths in Sacramento totaled 228. Across Sacramento County, there were 535 pedestrian deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents in 2015, as reported by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

Characteristics of Pedestrian Accidents

  • Alcohol consumption was a cause of motor vehicle crashes with pedestrians on the part of both walkers and drivers. In 34 percent of pedestrian fatalities, the walker was legally drunk with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher. Fifteen percent of the drivers involved in a crash with a pedestrian were found to be drunk driving.
  • Speeding by motorists was found to cause a higher incidence of pedestrian deaths. According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association, the risk of death was 10 percent for pedestrians who were struck by a vehicle traveling at 23 mph. If the vehicle was traveling at 58 mph, the pedestrian fatality rate reached 90 percent.

Risk Factors

Environmental characteristics, gender, age, and other factors came into play with the number of pedestrian deaths. Such risk factors include the following:

  • 72 percent of fatalities occurred outside of intersections.
  • 74 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred after dark.
  • 76 percent of fatalities happened in urban locations.
  • 21 percent of the fatalities were children aged 14 and younger.
  • The average age of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents was 47.
  • 70 percent of fatal pedestrian collisions happened to men.

Safety Measures for Pedestrians

There are specific actions that a pedestrian can take to lower their risk of an accident with a motor vehicle. These include:

  • Avoid distractions such as cell phone use, texting, and listening to the radio.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing when walking. After dark, use reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
  • Don’t drink or use drugs when out walking.
  • Stay on the sidewalk if possible.
  • If it is necessary to walk in the street, stay on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic.
  • Use crosswalks. Drivers are not prepared to see walkers crossing outside the crosswalks.
  • Do not assume a driver can see you. Try to make eye contact so you are sure the driver knows you are there.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a wrongful death lawyer in Sacramento. When a member of the family who is out walking dies because of a negligent motorist, the family may be able to recover damages through an experienced injury lawyer. Although it won’t bring back your loved one, it can help with financial expenses caused by your loss. Call me for free and friendly advice at 916-921-6400 in Sacramento. Outside the area, you can call me at (800) 404-5400 toll-free.

Deciding who will represent your case can be difficult, but information about the lawyer and his/her practice can help. You can review my clients’ reviews on Yelp, Google, and Avvo.

For more information, I maintain a list of cases and verdicts on my Verdicts and Settlements page.

I am honored to have represented many injured residents as a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. This includes representing them in traumatic injury cases such as pedestrian, motorcycle, and motor vehicle accidents.

I belong to a group of trial lawyers called Million Dollar Advocates. Membership is open only for attorneys who have obtained verdicts or garnered settlements of at least $1 million for their clients.

Feel free to look around my website,, a source of comprehensive information on auto accidents and other personal injuries in California.

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