Pedestrian Safety in California

Anytime a pedestrian gets struck in San Diego or along the Central Coast, it’s pretty serious news. Since pedestrians don’t wear helmets or have the added safety features of automobiles, it’s not uncommon for collisions to cause devastating and fatal injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average in 2011, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes across the U.S.

Pedestrian Injuries Across the U.S.

• In 2011, 4,432 pedestrians were struck and killed.
• An estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured in 2011.
• In 2011, pedestrian fatalities made up 14 percent of all motor-vehicle-related traffic deaths.
• 32 percent of pedestrian fatalities happened between 8:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

Who is Most at Risk?

The NHTSA found that over two-thirds of pedestrians killed were males. The rate of injury for male pedestrians was also significantly higher than the rate of injury for females. Additionally, older pedestrians, age 65 years old and older, made up 19 percent of all pedestrians killed. Also, nearly one-fifth of children, ages five through nine, killed in automobile wrecks were pedestrians.

Be Aware, Stay Focused!

The NHTSA offers teens a variety of tips for safely walking to their destinations. They recommend walking on the sidewalk facing traffic. Additionally, pedestrians are also encouraged to cross streets at corners or in crosswalks, when available. Another important part of staying safe is being visible. Brightly colored clothing is a great choice, and reflective material is also a good idea when walking after dark. Most importantly, drivers need to look out for pedestrians. Pedestrians of all ages are only safe when automobile drivers are paying attention to the roadway and observing all signs, signals and traffic laws.

Everyone is a Pedestrian

Unfortunately, pedestrians are one of the few groups to actually experience an increase in fatalities in 2011. The NHTSA’s “Everyone is a Pedestrian” campaign is aimed at raising awareness about the important topic of pedestrian safety in America. All too often, we read about fatal and injury-causing pedestrians accidents in the news, especially in California. These crashes have to stop. These aren’t freak accidents that only happen once in a while. These pedestrian strikes are happening in crosswalks, on street corners and during well-lit daylight hours. Putting a stop to pedestrian deaths needs to be a top priority for California motorists.

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