Traffic deaths generally, and pedestrian deaths specifically, increased at a rapid rate in Los Angeles in 2016. This was despite the efforts by Mayor Eric Garcetti to reduce them, with his Vision Zero policy designed to eliminate many traffic deaths in the city.
In 2016, which was the first full year that the policy was in operation, 260 people died in traffic accidents on Los Angeles streets. This represented a 43% increase over 2015. And it appears that the rising numbers of traffic fatalities are not a one-year quirk. In 2017 to date, fatal accidents are up 22% over a year ago.
When the mayor announced the Vision Zero plan, he aimed for a 20% decrease in traffic death by the end of this year. But the higher death rate this year is indicating just how difficult it will be to meet the program’s objectives.
Neale & Fhima pedestrian car accident attorneys frequently represent those who suffered serious personal injuries due to a negligent driver. If you suffered a personal injury as a pedestrian, please give us a call today: 949-661-1007.
Pedestrian Deaths Have Spiked
One of the most alarming aspects of current Los Angeles traffic accident data is the increase in pedestrian fatalities. Seleta Reynolds, the L.A. Transportation Department’s general manager, stated this month that thru mid-March of 2017, pedestrian accidents had increased by 3% over 2015. But fatalities involving pedestrians had soared 58% over the same period.
Reynolds believes that the higher number of pedestrian fatalities is caused by speeding. When a car hits a pedestrian at 20 mph, the pedestrian has a 20% chance of death. But the risk of death soars to 80% if the car is going 40 mph.
Pedestrians account for almost 50% of the traffic deaths reported, even though they are involved in only 14% of the total number of crashes in Los Angeles.
Reynolds also thinks that the increase in collisions with pedestrians is because drivers are more distracted by cell phones. More people also are choosing to walk or get on their bikes to avoid traffic, she stated.
Pedestrian Fatalities Also on the Rise Nationally
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that pedestrian deaths are on the rise outside California, as well. Recent data shows that pedestrian deaths in 2016 had risen to 5,987. This is a 9% increase from the previous year. Motorcycle deaths rose 5%, with 5,286 killed. This is the most since 2008.
NHTSA data from 2015 also reveals that deaths from ‘distraction-affected’ crashes rose 8.8% from the year before.
Preventing Pedestrian Deaths
The data from Los Angeles and across the U.S. suggests that an increase in distracted driving could be linked to the higher number of pedestrian deaths. Our Southern California personal injury attorneys hope that more drivers in Los Angeles, and in the U.S. generally, will remember these simple safety tips from Geico:
- Use your cell phone only in an emergency, when you are not driving.
- If you are tired, pull over. It’s better to be late than to injureor kill someone.
- Limit the total number of passengers in your vehicle to reduce distractions.
- Do not multitask while driving. Safe driving requires 100% of your attention.
Pedestrian Car Accident Lawyers in Southern California
Neal Fhima is an experienced pedestrian car accident law firm serving Southern California, with offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco. Our attorneys are highly experienced in assisting pedestrians who have suffered serious personal injuries in a car accident. We can also assist you in a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed by a negligent motor vehicle driver.If you need legal advice about a pedestrian accident, please call 949-661-1007 or complete the contact form below.