Because California pedestrians do not have the same protection as that afforded to motor vehicle occupants, they are much more likely to suffer serious injury or even death in the event they are hit by a car or truck. Every year, thousands of pedestrians are killed and tens of thousands are injured in motor vehicle collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,743 pedestrians were killed nationwide and another 76,000 were seriously injured in 2012 alone. The year's fatality numbers represented a 6 percent increase over those from 2011. Pedestrian deaths represented 14 percent of all motor collision fatalities, while injuries accounted for 3 percent of all injuries suffered in crashes in the country.
Of those killed, 73 percent were in urban areas and 70 percent were at non-intersection locations. Most accidents occurred between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Across age groups, those over 45 years of age were more likely to be injured or killed, with the elderly accounting for 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Of children between the ages of five and 15 who died in crashes, 22 percent of them were pedestrians.
A pedestrian who is hit by a car may suffer catastrophic, lifelong disability or be killed as a result. Drivers should pay attention to the road around them while they are driving, and should be watchful for pedestrians who are either crossing the road or appear as if they might. Pedestrians should consider wearing reflective strips on their clothing if walking at night and should always utilize crosswalks or only cross the road at intersections. By people paying more attention, many pedestrian accidents may be avoided.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Pedestrians," April 2014