Accidents between cars and pedestrians have been a concern in Southern California for some time. Since travel by motor vehicle is generally a necessity for people, the chances of an accident are substantial. Research has attempted to establish common denominators between these accidents so law enforcement and legislators can devise ways to reduce their frequency. One study has shown that there has been a significant increase in the number of pedestrian deaths in fatal car crashes across the nation. In fact, it has increased by close to half.
The study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that since the all-time low in pedestrian deaths in car accidents in 2009, there has been an increase of almost 50 percent. The research showed that many of these accidents involved SUVs or vehicles with a powerful engine. A large number of accidents occurred at night, not in intersections and on roads that served as inlets to the freeway.
Almost 6,000 pedestrians died in these types of accidents in 2016. Overall, pedestrian fatalities are down 20 percent since 1975, however, the number of pedestrians who died in 2016 was the most since 1990. Researchers say that pedestrian safety can be enhanced with better lighting, increased number of crosswalks, and having more islands mid-road.
With the increased prevalence of smart phones being used for a number of functions while behind the wheel, distracted driving remains a concern. The data for distracted drivers was incomplete, so it is not fully known how much that plays into the pedestrians being hit and killed.
Pedestrians who are hit by a car are essentially defenseless. The speeds at which vehicles travel, their size, and the chance that the driver did not see the pedestrian increase the chances of a fatality upon collision. A lawyer experienced in wrongful death cases can help with the investigation to determine the cause and to seek compensation when necessary.