California pedestrians are at serious risk of being involved in an accident, according to statistics from the Transportation by America coalition. The nationwide study ranked California 16th in the nation for pedestrian danger.
About 6,960 pedestrians have been killed walking in California between 2000 and 2009, with the most occurring in Los Angeles County, which had 2,079 pedestrian fatalities during the period.
This report also said that, in California, it is 97 percent more likely for Hispanic pedestrians to be killed in an accident than white pedestrians. African Americans have an 83 percent higher risk of death than non-Hispanic non-white pedestrians in California.
Numbers for Seniors
For people over the age of 65, the statistics are equally alarming. Nationwide, elderly pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed in accidents, while in California that statistic jumps to three times as likely. As a result, California ranks third in the nation for pedestrian accident fatalities among the elderly.
Why are elderly Californians so often the victims of pedestrian accidents? It may be because of poor road conditions and lack of crosswalks, which are typical in older, poorer and ethnic neighborhoods. Also, it takes elderly walkers longer to cross streets. Busy California streets, lots of traffic and short crossing signals can be a dangerous hazard for slower walkers.
To address this problem, the study’s authors recommend the following:
- Maintain federal funding for transportation projects
- Refurbish roads
- Hold states accountable for pedestrian hazards
- Renovate particularly hazardous intersections
- Install high visibility crosswalks
To reduce pedestrian risk, the city of Oakland has added 600 new curb ramps around town this past year and has targeted particular at-risk intersections for renovations, especially ones near a library, school, park, senior center and low-income housing.
Oakland has also installed several high visibility crosswalks, called “scrambled systems,” where, between light changes, traffic is halted in all directions and large red arrows prohibit cars from making turns. The crosswalks allow pedestrians to cross between all four corners and even diagonally across the street.
When to Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It is good to see the city of Oakland taking action in order to protect pedestrians and, hopefully, more cities will do the same. That said, even with crosswalk changes, there is still a danger of a pedestrian accident. For pedestrians who are injured in an accident, they should first seek medical attention.
Secondly, they should contact an accident lawyer. Victims of these types of accidents are entitled to pedestrian accident settlements to cover medical bills, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and much more. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a pedestrian accident, please call 877-702-7274 to speak to someone today.
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