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Auto-pedestrian accident statistics show a worrisome rise

Pedestrians in California and across the U.S. are vulnerable to serious injuries and fatalities in an accident with an automobile. These accidents happen for a number of reasons, whether it is a negligent driver, a failure to observe on the part of the motorist, distraction, recklessness or alcohol or drugs. Studies are constantly being done to try to determine how these accidents happen and, more importantly, how to prevent them. A recent study examined the nationwide statistics to come to conclusions on this matter and yielded some surprising results.

In the decade from 2005 to 2014, there were more than 46,000 people who were killed in auto-pedestrian accidents. 2014 is the latest year in which data has been accrued. In that year, 4,884 people died in these accidents. That was an increase of 105 from the prior year. On a daily basis, an average of 13 people were hit and killed by a motor vehicle as pedestrians. In the aforementioned decade, people in the U.S. were 7.2 times more likely to be killed by a vehicle as a pedestrian than they were as victims in a natural disaster.

In the study, the most dangerous metropolitan areas were listed based on the Pedestrian Danger Index, or "PDI." This stems from the number of commuters who walk to work and the data of how many pedestrian deaths there have been in particular areas. The top seven most dangerous areas were in Florida, but Southern California had two counties listed in the top 20. The highest number of people who were victims in these accidents were people of color and older people.

Non-whites accounted for 46.1 percent of pedestrian deaths, while making up 34.9 percent of the national population. People 65 or older were 50 percent more likely than those who are younger to be hit and killed as pedestrians. Lower-income people are at higher risk. Street design is a consideration, as areas that have poor pedestrian walking areas and vehicles traveling at high rates of speed can lead to more pedestrian accidents. With these troubling statistics, it is clear how at risk people are from pedestrian accidents. Those who have been injured or who have lost a loved one in an auto-pedestrian accident need to understand how to pursue compensation for what happened.

Source: smartgrowthamerica.org, "Dangerous By Design 2016," accessed on Feb. 6, 2017

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