How safe are pedestrians in California?

California along with New York, Texas and Florida accounted for 42 percent of the nation’s pedestrian fatalities from January to June 2016.

California's temperate climate and abundant sunshine makes being outside and on foot an inviting thing for many people. However, this also poses specific risks when being a pedestrian puts people in and among vehicles.

California tops list of states with most pedestrian fatalities

Data from the Governors Highway Safety Association reports the Golden State as leading the nation in the number of pedestrian fatalities. Together with Texas, Florida and New York, California is said to have contributed to 42 percent of the nation's pedestrian deaths between January and June of 2016. In all of 2016, deaths of pedestrians jumped 11 percent over the prior year.

Pedestrian deaths increase nationwide

From 2010 to 2015, it is indicated that the number of people who died on American roads rose approximately six percent. This includes drivers, passengers and people outside of vehicles as well. When looking solely at the number of pedestrians who died, the increase from 2010 to 2015 was 25 percent. Pedestrian deaths are now said to be at their highest in 40 years.

California vehicle fatality statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects and reports information about vehicular fatalities by state. In looking at California's records, an increase in the total number of people killed can be seen fairly consistently from 2011 to 2015.

In 2011, there were 2,816 fatalities compared to 3,176 in 2015. The only decrease in that timeframe was the 3,102 deaths in 2014 which was down five from the prior year. Pedestrian deaths over that time rose from 633 in 2011 to a high of 742 in 2015.

Community efforts underway to improve pedestrian safety

The Desert Sun reports that a nonprofit group has initiated an effort to improve public safety in Palm Springs. Despite data from the NHTSA that shows a decrease in the number of pedestrians killed in all of Riverside County from 2014 to 2015, Palm Springs is said to lead the entire Coachella Valley in pedestrian fatalities.

In addition to improving pedestrian visibility, other things may also help improve public safety. These include roundabouts, sidewalks, lighting at intersections and more.

Also getting attention is the use of phones and other devices. Distraction among both drivers and even pedestrians themselves may well be a big factor contributing to the ongoing increase of pedestrian deaths.

When a pedestrian is injured or killed in an accident, action must be taken. Talking to an attorney is the best way to learn how to protect one's rights at this time.