Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in California?

Updated: Apr 21

The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents In California


Pedestrian safety is critical. This discussion has garnered more attention in recent years than ever before. As more people strive to live healthier lives, the number of people who walk, jog, or run on a daily basis has increased. We cross streets on a daily basis without paying much thought to the task or the risks involved. Thousands of Americans are killed or maimed every year as they navigate the nation's roadways, crosswalks, sidewalks, and crossings.


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Anyone who does not travel by car, motorcycle, or bicycle is referred to as a "pedestrian." Pedestrians are people who move by foot or on skateboards, roller skates, scooters, hoverboards, skateboards, or other similar modes of transportation. Pedestrians include people with impairments who travel in wheelchairs, tricycles, quadricycles, and other similar vehicles.

Statistics on Pedestrian Crashes

According to research findings:

  • Pedestrians are far more at risk than drivers and passengers in motor vehicles. The occupants of a passenger vehicle are 1.5 times less likely than pedestrians to be killed in an automobile accident every time they travel.

  • When a pedestrian is struck by a car, the chances of survival are directly proportional to the vehicle's speed. A pedestrian struck by a car going at 20 miles per hour has a 90% chance of surviving. When the vehicle is traveling at 40 miles per hour, however, the victim's chances of survival plummet to about 20%.

  • In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died as a result of being struck by a vehicle, the highest annual amount since 1990.

  • In 2016, according to the NHTSA's statistics data:

  • Pedestrian deaths occurred at a rate of about one per 1.5 hours on average.

  • Pedestrian deaths accounted for 16% of all road fatalities.

  • 70% of pedestrians killed in road accidents were males.

  • Nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities (48%) involved drivers (13%) and pedestrians (33%) who were inebriated, defined as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL or above.

  • Nine out of ten (90%) pedestrians killed in traffic accidents were in single-vehicle collisions. Frontal collisions between passenger cars, minivans, pickup trucks, SUVs, and full-size vans killed the majority of these pedestrians.

  • Pedestrians killed by hit-and-run drivers accounted for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in car accidents.

California Fatalities


Pedestrian fatalities account for around 22 percent of all traffic-related deaths in California.

In 2016, California had 867 pedestrian fatalities (14.48 percent) of the total 5,987 pedestrian fatalities across all states.

Los Angeles County Pedestrian Fatalities


In 2016, there were 265 pedestrian fatalities in Los Angeles County, the greatest number of pedestrian fatalities of any other county in the United States.


Los Angeles Pedestrian Deaths

  • A pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident once every 40 hours in Los Angeles.

  • Los Angeles has the highest annual rate of traffic-related deaths among major U.S. cities. There are 6.27 fatalities per 100,000 people in Los Angeles, for example.

  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents account for only 14 percent of all traffic accidents in Los Angeles, according to LADOT statistics. Despite this, approximately half of all traffic-related deaths in the city are caused by these crashes.

  • In 2017, 134 pedestrians were killed in road accidents, the most in almost fifteen years.

Pedestrian Accidents: Common Causes


Sidewalks That Aren't Built Right. Poorly designed sidewalks become the leading cause of collisions in places where there are uneven or rough stairs on walkways that can easily lead to tripping and falling of pedestrians. Furthermore, where paths are too small to allow many individuals to pass one other when traveling in opposing direc