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California pedestrian fatality rate higher than U.S. average

Residents in California, especially the southern part of the state, enjoy some of the nation’s best weather all year round. The temperate climate is just one of the many reasons people flock to the area as it allows them to be outside more of the time. Walkers, runners and others can take advantage of the weather, yet they still must face the reality that being a pedestrian can be very dangerous. 

Dangers to Pedestrians

According to a report by CNBC, the nation as a whole has experienced an increase in pedestrian fatalities. In the decade from 2008 to 2018, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. jumped by 41%. By 2018, foot traffic accounted for 16% of all vehicular fatalities nationwide. Sadly, the picture in California is even more grim. 

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2018, one out of every four persons killed in a motor vehicle accident in California was a pedestrian. That 25% is the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths out of total vehicular deaths in the state in the prior five years. In looking at Los Angeles County alone, pedestrians yet again fare even worse. People on foot accounted for 33.5% of all vehicular fatalities in L.A. County in 2018. That is more than double the rate of the national average. 

A continued preference for large vehicles may contribute to the risks faced by pedestrians as these vehicles are more apt to hit a pedestrian in the torso or head versus the legs or hips, causing more severe injuries. Distracted driving is another factor that may play into the growth in pedestrian deaths.

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