Asatryan Law
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Asatryan Law
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Representing the injured in California and Nevada

Pedestrian fatalities are rising, and vehicles are a factor

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians died in 2015 as a result of collisions with vehicles, a figure that continues to rise. In Southern California, walking is a common and usually enjoyable activity for people. However, moving about on foot anywhere near traffic has its dangers.

About the increase

The data the NHTSA collects over the years provides comparisons that prove vehicle-pedestrian fatalities are increasing. There were 4,795 pedestrian deaths in 2006 and 5,376 in 2015, which is an increase of 12.1 percent. As to pedestrian injuries in this kind of collision, there were an estimated 61,000 in 2006, but an estimated 70,000 in 2015, a 14.8 percent increase. Furthermore, of the children under the age of 15 who died in traffic crashes in 2015, one out of five were pedestrians. Senior citizens aged 65 and older represented 19 percent of the vehicle-pedestrian collision fatalities in that year.

The alcohol factor

Alcohol use plays a role in vehicle-pedestrian deaths. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2014, drivers involved in a collision with a pedestrian had a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher, while 34 percent of the walkers who died that year had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.

Taking the numbers seriously

According to the NHTSA data, California ranks first in the nation in pedestrian fatalities, but given the number of drivers in the Golden State, this ranking is not surprising: As of January 1, 2018, the state listed almost 27 million registered drivers. It is not unusual for pedestrian injuries to be devastating, requiring lifelong medical care. While there is currently no reliable data about the number of miles people walk each year or how often they face exposure to traffic situations, interest in preventing injuries and fatalities is keen. There are many organizations in the state focused on raising public awareness of the problem and reducing the number of motor vehicle-pedestrian tragedies.

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