As the most populated state in America, California sees a significant number of pedestrian traffic fatalities. Recent data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association reveals a concerning trend. In 2022, California recorded 504 pedestrian deaths due to vehicle-involved crashes. This figure shows a nearly 10% increase from 2019.
To give you a clearer picture, the pedestrian fatality rate in California stood at 1.29 deaths per 100,000 people in 2022. This rate surpasses the national average of 1.04 by a considerable margin.
The effect of larger vehicles
The United States has witnessed a 70% rise in pedestrian deaths since 2010. Experts link this increase to the growing presence of large vehicles on the roads. In 2010, Americans opted for cars and trucks almost equally. However, by 2021, trucks made up almost 80% of all vehicle sales and leases. This change in preference has consequences for pedestrian safety.
Cities with concerning trends
Two cities stand out in this crisis – Los Angeles and New York City. Between 2011 and 2020, Los Angeles witnessed 1,133 pedestrian fatalities, while New York City saw 1,260. These two cities, even with their “Vision Zero” plans that have goals of ending traffic fatalities, have reported a higher number of pedestrian deaths compared to other American cities.
Disproportionate impact on communities
Between 2011 and 2020, Los Angeles witnessed 1,133 pedestrian fatalities. Moreover, data from before 2020 highlighted that South Los Angeles accounted for nearly half of all traffic injuries and fatalities. Notably, an unreasonably large number of these incidents affect people of color.
Efforts to address the crisis
Efforts to curb this problem have been ongoing. Over the past five years, Los Angeles has added over 6,000 new safety installations like crosswalks, signals and street signs. Yet, the data suggests there remains a significant amount of work to do.
Pedestrian safety is a pressing issue, not just in California, but nationwide. Taking proactive measures and being vigilant can help ensure you stay safe on the roads.