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What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in LA?

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Los Angeles spans 503 square miles and has different levels of pedestrian accessibility throughout. Some areas, like Venice or Sunset Boulevard, are very walkable, while other areas are on top of hills or surrounded by freeways. The reality is that auto accessibility is prioritized over pedestrian access throughout much of the city.

Often, a Los Angeles pedestrian accident is caused when a pedestrian finds themselves in dangerous situations on or alongside busy roads in the city. According to USC’s Neighborhood Data for Social Change, more than 14,230 pedestrians were injured and 439 were killed on Los Angeles streets from 2012-2016, leaving officials to wonder how to reduce pedestrian traffic accidents. These high numbers prompted Mayor Eric Garcetti to sign an executive directive that established Vision Zero LA, an LA Department of Transportation program, to help eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

Los Angeles roadways are dangerous for pedestrians, especially if they are distracted. Where are LA drivers most likely to encounter distracted pedestrians? Everywhere. Distraction is just one of many factors that can increase the risk of pedestrian accidents, particularly in notoriously traffic-heavy cities such as Los Angeles.

What are the main causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States?

Several common accident causes can lead to pedestrian accidents: 

Woman watching phone while crossing street - what are the main causes of pedestrian accidents?
  • Alcohol: Alcohol and drug impairment are common causes of pedestrian incidents, on both the driver and pedestrian side. Intoxication can hinder judgement, reaction time, and spatial awareness, especially in drivers, and increase the likelihood of an accident.
  • Age: One in five pedestrian deaths involve someone over the age of 65, and 20% of all children younger than age 15 killed in auto accidents were pedestrians. Factors such as awareness associated with youth and old age can diminish pedestrian safety, increasing the likelihood of a pedestrian accident injury or fatality.  
  • Speed: Speed can be another factor in pedestrian accidents, and can mean the difference between a nonfatal pedestrian accident injury and a fatality. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that pedestrians hit by a car travelling 20 MPH have a 10% death risk, which increases with the speed of the collision to 40% (30 MPH) and 80% (40 MPH). There is a life-or-death difference that slowing down a vehicle can make.
  • Distracted Driving: The CDC reports that approximately eight people are killed daily in crashes that involve a distracted driver, and 20% of these people are pedestrians. The need to be aware of one’s surroundings and limit distractions, whether as a driver or a pedestrian, is key to increased safety for all parties. 

Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles?

If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles pedestrian accident or in any another type of accident, Avrek Law may be able to help. As a personal injury and pedestrian accident law firm with more than 50 years of combined experience in successfully resolving cases for the wrongfully injured, our track record speaks for itself: over $1 billion recovered in over 45,000 cases. Contact us today for a free consultation – we’re here to help.

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