A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) projects that the number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 will be the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in almost three decades. According to the GHSA, it is estimated that 6,277 pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents during 2018. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents. California had the highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2017 (858). California also had the highest number of deaths from pedestrian accidents in the first half of 2018 (432).
In this article, our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys discuss several issues related to pedestrian accidents in California.
Highlights From This Article:
- Pedestrian Accident Statistics
- Potential Factors Impacting the Rise in the Number of Pedestrian Deaths
- Why Are Traffic Accidents Deadly for Pedestrians?
- What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The number of individuals killed in pedestrian-vehicle accidents in 1990 was 6,482. While the expected number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 is just below that figure, the 2018 figure is higher than any other year since 2009. In 2009, pedestrian fatalities dropped to 4,109, but began increasing again over the next decade.
Other key statistics from the report include:
- California led in the number of pedestrian deaths for several years.
- From 2008 through 2017, pedestrian deaths increased by 35 percent compared to a decrease of six percent in the total of all traffic deaths during that same period.
- Pedestrian deaths increased by four percent from 2017 to 2018.
- California, along with Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, accounted for 46 percent of the pedestrian deaths in 2017.
- Twenty-five states experienced an increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2017 to 2018.
- Pedestrian deaths increased by 45 percent during the nighttime compared to an 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian deaths from 2008 through 2017.
- From 2013 to 2017, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents involving SUVs increased by 50 percent, compared to a 30 percent increase in traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles, even though passenger vehicles comprised 42 percent of the total vehicles involved in pedestrian accidents.
- About one-half of the pedestrian-vehicle fatalities in 2017 involved alcohol impairment of the driver or pedestrian.
Potential Factors Impacting the Rise in the Number of Pedestrian Deaths
There could be numerous factors at play that could contribute to the increase in pedestrian deaths. Some of the trends that the GHSA cited as potential causes in the rise of pedestrian fatalities include:
- An increase in the number of people walking. One survey found a four percent increase in the number of people who walk to work between 2007 and 2016.
- The need for safer crossings could contribute to the number of pedestrian accidents since most deaths occur at night on local roads.
- In about one-half of the pedestrian-vehicle accidents, unsafe behaviors were reported, such as distractions, speeding, alcohol impairment, and drowsy driving.
- The number of SUVs on roads may play a factor in the higher number of pedestrian deaths. A USA Today Network/Detroit Free Press investigation concluded that the popularity of SUVs was a leading cause of the increase in pedestrian deaths. SUVs have a higher front end, which can be deadly for pedestrians struck by these vehicles.
- Driver behaviors continue to be factors in pedestrian accidents. Speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, drowsy driving, and failing to yield the right of way are just a few of the driving behaviors that contribute to the number of pedestrians killed each year.
Regardless of the reason why a pedestrian-vehicle accident occurs, the pedestrian is typically the victim who suffers the most severe injuries in the accident.
Why Are Traffic Accidents Deadly for Pedestrians?
Pedestrians do not have any protection from the impact of a collision with a vehicle. The individual’s body receives the full force of the impact. In some cases, a vehicle may actually run over the pedestrian, thereby crushing the person under the vehicle. In other cases, a pedestrian may be thrown causing the person to hit another object or violently strike the ground. In either case, the person’s body can be severely injured from the impact.
Life-threatening injuries, including internal bleeding and damage to internal organs, can result in immediate death or death within a few days. Other injuries may result in lifelong disabilities that severely limit the person’s ability to work, care for themselves, and care for their families.
Some of the common injuries that pedestrians sustain when they are struck by a vehicle include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions
- Damage to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
Pedestrians who are injured in a motor vehicle accident can experience great financial hardship in addition to physical and emotional injuries. By filing an accident claim with the insurance company for the driver, an injured pedestrian may recover compensation for financial losses, physical injuries, and emotional suffering.
However, the steps a person takes immediately after a pedestrian accident can have a significant impact on an insurance claim. One way to protect your legal rights and best interests is to contact a Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim. An attorney works to obtain a fair and just settlement for your losses and damages.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Pedestrian-Vehicle Accident?
Being injured by a driver while you are crossing the road, jogging, walking to work, or otherwise enjoying walking can turn your world upside down. Below are some steps that our Sacramento pedestrian accident attorneys recommend that you take after a pedestrian-vehicle accident. While you may not be able to take all steps, the steps you can take can improve your chance of recovering full compensation for an accident claim.
Report the accident immediately.
Calling 911 is typically the best way to report the crash and request emergency medical services. In most cases, a pedestrian is severely injured; therefore, someone who witnessed the accident called the police to report the crash. Your attorneys may obtain the 911 records as evidence in your case.
Go to the emergency room for treatment.
In a few cases, a pedestrian may walk away from an accident thinking that he or she is not severely injured. However, the person could have sustained internal injuries or head trauma. It is wise to be checked and examined by a medical professional after being struck by a vehicle. In addition, refusal of transport to the ER is typically noted in the accident report, which could be used by an insurance provider to argue you were not injured in the crash.
Seek medical treatment.
If you do not go to the emergency room, it is wise to follow up with your physician as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor protects your health, but it also documents your injuries for an insurance claim.
Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
Eyewitness testimony can be extremely helpful for proving fault and liability for a pedestrian accident. If possible, ask witnesses to write their information down for you, text the information to you, or give their information to the police officer.
Take pictures of the accident scene.
This step may be impossible for a pedestrian who has been hit by a vehicle. However, the person may be able to ask a bystander to take a few pictures if the person’s cell phone was not damaged in the crash.
Do not discuss the accident.
Anything you say can be used by the insurance provider later in your case. Therefore, refrain from providing statements, written or recorded, to an insurance adjuster or other party representing the insurance provider or driver. Also, you may want to refrain from posting on social media until you speak with a Sacramento pedestrian accident attorney. A talented trial attorney could twist the meaning of innocent posts to convince jury members that you were not injured or not injured as severely as you claim.
Document damages and your recovery.
As you recover from your injuries, it helps to take photographs of your injuries and keep a journal detailing your pain and suffering. You should also keep detailed records of your financial losses and expenses related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery. You must have evidence of financial losses to include amounts in a settlement demand.
Contact a Sacramento Pedestrian Accident Attorney
As soon as possible, call our office to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Our legal team helps you document your damages, investigates the crash, gathers evidence, protects you from aggressive insurance adjusters, and fights to get you the money you deserve after being injured by a reckless driver.
Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Sacramento Fighting for Justice for Accident Victims and Their Families
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our websiteto schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
You deserve to have a legal team working diligently to protect your best interests. The insurance adjuster does not work for you! Instead of trusting an employee working for the insurance company, trust the Tiemann legal team to handle your pedestrian accident claim.