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Why are auto-pedestrian accidents increasing?

Even though California has spent time focusing on making the streets safer for pedestrians, pedestrian deaths rose in California by approximately 7 percent in the first half of 2015 when compared to 2014. Between January and June 2015, 347 people were hit by cars while walking in California. In the previous year, 323 people were hit and killed by a car.

Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of pedestrian accidents. In 2015, national pedestrian deaths rose by 6 percent. What's going on, and why isn't enforcement helping reduce fatalities and injuries?

In 2015, pedestrian deaths represented 15 percent of all traffic fatalities. Researchers believe that is partially due to the fact that more Americans are walking today than they did in the past. Additionally, there are more cars on the roads. Americans drove a record number of miles in 2015 thanks to lower gas prices and a strong job market. With safety features increasing in vehicles, passenger deaths have decreased. Sadly, any changes to vehicles haven't addressed pedestrian safety to a point where it has made an impact.

In Los Angeles County, it's estimated that pedestrian deaths make up around a third of all traffic-related fatalities. That is a rate significantly higher than the national average. An analysis of data from the county also showed that around a fourth of all crashes involving pedestrians took place at fewer than 1 percent of the intersections in the county.

Auto-pedestrian accidents can be avoided if drivers and pedestrians pay attention to the roads. If you're hit, remember that you can seek compensation and hold the driver responsible.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Study: Pedestrian deaths in California rose 7% in the first half of 2015," Laura J. Nelson, accessed Aug. 29, 2017

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