Despite concerted efforts by Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, to reduce and ultimately eliminate pedestrian deaths citywide, it appears that accidents involving pedestrians are actually on the rise. Recent data from the California Highway Patrol indicates that accidents involving two or more vehicles have decreased in recent years, but pedestrian crashes have increased in an alarming way. Unsurprisingly, the areas with the highest rates of pedestrian accidents are communities like Santa Monica, Venice, and West Hollywood—places where a heavy volume of pedestrians are concentrated. Let’s take a closer look at the data and explore some tactics that city officials are hoping to implement in the coming years.
A Significant Rise in Pedestrian Accidents
According to data from 2017 and 2018, the number of injuries and deaths among pedestrians who were struck down by a moving vehicle increased by over 70 percent in 2018 alone. This alarming uptick in pedestrian injuries and fatalities seems to be associated with an increasing population, especially in densely populated areas. The majority of these incidents took place between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., when drivers had less visibility or had perhaps consumed alcoholic beverages that impaired their driving. Additionally, while approximately 40 percent of the pedestrian accidents occurred at intersections, the majority took place elsewhere, making it harder for drivers to anticipate a pedestrian suddenly darting into the road.
Law Enforcement Responds
In response to this data, officials from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have expressed their intentions for finding ways of addressing the rise in pedestrian accidents. Detective Juan Campos of the LAPD’s Central Bureau Traffic Division wondered whether the steep rise in the homeless population in certain areas has been a factor in these accidents, as those experiencing homelessness may act erratically or fail to follow safe pedestrian practices. He stated, “Part of it may be addiction and mental illness. They may not care to follow the rules of the road and they cross whenever they want to cross.”
In many cases, pedestrians are actually at fault for the accidents. Of the 22 pedestrian fatalities recorded by LAPD’s Central Bureau in 2018, over 90 percent were determined to be at fault for the incident. For now, city officials and law enforcement agencies are hoping to launch new efforts for increasing public awareness around pedestrian safety issues.
To learn more about how to pursue a personal injury claim following a pedestrian or traffic incident in the Temecula or Greater Los Angeles area, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation today at (951) 489-3320.